CCA seeking clarity from feds, following Minister’s comments

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©PHOTO BY WIRESTOCK

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Canada’s construction industry is demanding clarity from the Prime Minister on future investment in new road infrastructure after comments made earlier this week by Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault.

Facing backlash, Guilbeault later explained that support to provinces for maintenance will continue, existing road infrastructure “is perfectly adequate to respond to the needs we have.”

Looking for clarification from the federal government, the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) points to the acute housing crisis and demands to build 5.8 million new homes. A report by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) estimates that it will require $107,000 in public investments per new housing unit. This amounts to a total of $620 billion in public funding needed – an additional $375 billion beyond the current planned budget.

“These new communities need new roads. People need to be connected to their jobs, their schools, and their hospitals,” CCA president Mary Van Buren said in a statement. “A growing population has growing demands. We not only need the road networks to support their movement; we also need to shore up our trade infrastructure, which includes roads, bridges and highways.”

Van Buren claims the government has been under-investing in infrastructure for 15 years, as evidenced by the country’s drop from 10th to 32nd in terms the World Economic Forum’s global trade infrastructure ranking. Without continued investment in critical infrastructure, as recommended by the National Supply Chain Task Force, including trade-enabling infrastructure she warns Canada will fail to harness trade with its international partners for its economic success.

“We need the federal government to partner with industry and work with municipal and provincial governments to build a strong foundation for a stronger Canada.”

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