Federal Budget Includes Few Benefits for Construction Industry

(March 18, 2019) – Although the Federal Liberal government’s fourth and final budget tabled today before the fall election includes $23 billion in new spending across more than 100 areas, there are few benefits for Canada’s construction industry, according to the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA).

“This is clearly a pre-election budget, with priorities other than increasing badly-needed resource and infrastructure development,” said Paul de Jong, President of the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA). “That would also explain the lack of a path towards fiscal balance as the Liberals promised in 2015.”

The budget, entitled “Investing in the Middle Class,” includes some funding to help boost job skills as well as a gas funding top-up to help municipalities build more infrastructure.

“There are some nods towards the labour market with new funding for future job training that could help workers meet the needs of a changing economy,” added Paul de Jong. “And increasing gas tax funding might also encourage growth in municipal infrastructure going forward.  But we clearly won’t see any of that before the fall election.”

Federal budget 2019 focuses on housing affordability, seniors and First Nations, high speed internet, student loans and pharma-care, as well as skills training. It includes:

  • The Canada Training Benefit, a new program providing Canadians with up $250 each year towards the cost of new training;
  • A one-time top-up of $2.2 billionthrough the Federal Gas Tax Fund, that doubles the federal commitment to municipalities in 2018-19.

Budget 2019 also includes a projected $19.8 billion deficit for fiscal 2019/20, slightly larger than what was projected in the fall economic update.

PCA will continue to monitor federal initiatives in the lead-up to the fall election. We will review and access the competing platforms for the benefit of our members and their employees. 

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

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