Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) says it is pleased the province’s Throne Speech include a promise to make substantial investments in skilled trades initiatives that will reduce the stigma associated with such careers, particularly for women and youth, while partnering with union-led training centres to provide people with the skills they need.
Commitments to take steps to build 1.5 million homes over the next decade and calling on the federal government to urgently double the number of skilled trades workers that are allowed to immigrate to Ontario were also welcome news for builders.
“We have a housing crisis and must pull out all the stops to boost supply because young families are being frozen out of home ownership across Ontario,” says RESCON president Richard Lyall. “I was pleased that the government reiterated its commitment to get 1.5 million homes built in the next 10 years but also recognized that more must be done.”
In the speech, the government committed to continuing to provide tools municipalities need, to break through logjams that have historically slowed the speed of construction, including enhanced authorities for mayors of Toronto and Ottawa, as strong mayor systems will empower the leaders to work more effectively with the province to reduce timelines for development, standardize processes and address local barriers to increasing the supply of housing.
The government also pledged to work with municipal partners to expand transit-oriented communities and explore partnerships with municipalities to leverage surplus provincial lands and add new incentives to build attainable housing that puts home ownership in reach for more families.
“These are very crucial and important first steps towards tackling the housing supply shortage,” adds Lyall. “We must reform our development approvals system and tear down the entrenched barriers to building so that we can continue to boost the supply of housing. We must tackle inefficiencies in the system and pull out all the stops to build more housing because the population is growing, and demand is not going away.”