Last week’s release of the 2022 Federal Budget fell short on providing the right conditions to deliver on the government’s build back better objectives, says the Canadian Construction Association, the national association representing Canada’s non-residential construction industry.
News of a $183.2 million investment over seven years for the development of innovative construction materials and revitalizing building standards to encourage low-carbon construction solutions will help the industry build resiliently, however the federal government stopped short of providing a plan to address our aging infrastructure and future needs.
While we applaud efforts to improve the social condition of Canadians through announced investments in healthcare, housing affordability, clean technology and dental care, it’s important to remember that these things cannot be built, serviced and accessed without the critical infrastructure that Canadians rely on every day.
“An investment in infrastructure is an investment in Canada’s growth economy and in the well-being of Canadians,” says Mary Van Buren, president of the Canadian Construction Association (CCA). “Infrastructure builds schools for our kids and the hospitals that care for us, keeps our water clean and our homes heated, and maintains the roads, bridges and trade corridors that connect our communities not only to each other but also to the global marketplace.”
With reports that Canada has fallen from 10th to 32nd in terms of global trade infrastructure, it is vital that we scale up our trade infrastructure to build supply chain capacity, support green innovation and emerging technologies, create transformational jobs, and fuel our global competitiveness. Canada needs a long-term strategy to shore up its trade-enabling infrastructure. The Western Canada Trade Gateways and Corridors Initiative (WCTGCI) would boost domestic and international trade and bring both public and private investments to Western Canada’s trade transportation network. The economy needs reliable infrastructure to connect supply chains and efficiently move goods and services across borders.
Yesterday’s Federal Budget needed to focus on public policies that would increase Canada’s economic resilience to ongoing and future threats. This includes a consistent and long-term infrastructure investment plan that benefits all Canadians and is aligned with the current and future needs of the provinces; contracting that supports fair competition, innovation and shared risk; and developing a pipeline of skilled and talented workers.
Read CCA’s pre-budget submission for more information on our recommendations to government.