BC NDP Budget Focuses On Social Programs, Misses On Economic Development

Victoria (February 20, 2018) – While the new BC government succeeds in delivering a balanced 2018 budget, with more funding for social programs, it misses the mark on supporting projects that would create much needed investment that will generate new revenue sources for the government, according the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA).

“We’re pleased to see some funding for infrastructure projects including the Patullo Bridge,” said Rieghardt van Enter, Regional Director, BC, for the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada. “Major capital investments in schools and hospitals will also create new job opportunities for skilled tradespeople.”

Missing is a commitment to move other key infrastructure projects forward.

“Lifting uncertainty around Trans Mountain Expansion and LNG projects would go a long way in building the economy,” added van Enter. “Further delays are a missed opportunity to generate thousands of jobs, power the economy and pay for government programs through new revenues rather than new taxes.”

The budget introduces a new employer health tax starting in January that replaces the Medical Services Premium. Companies with a payroll over $1.5 million will pay 1.95 per cent of their payroll.

“Adding tax burden to employers is not the way to make BC more competitive and attractive for investment,” said van Enter.

About the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA)

With offices in BC, Alberta and Ontario, PCA is the voice of progressive unionized employers in Canada’s construction industry. Our member companies are responsible for 40 percent of energy and natural resource construction projects in British Columbia and Alberta and are leaders in infrastructure construction across Canada. PCA member companies employ more than 25,000 skilled construction workers in Canada, represented primarily by CLAC.

For further information, contact:

Danna O’Brien, Danna@obriencommunications.ca 416-500-0699