PCA supports Ontario budget approach to rebuild the economy

The Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA), whose members build major capital and infrastructure projects across Canada, commends the Ford government for its focus on Northern Ontario’s critical mineral strategy, major infrastructure and skills training in Budget 2024.

Budget 2024, “Building a Better Ontario”, increases capital spending with $190.2 billion earmarked for major infrastructure projects like hospitals, schools and highways over the next decade.

The budget also confirms the government’s commitment to building a strong critical minerals sector in Northern Ontario’s Ring of Fire by investing in exploration, and supporting infrastructure in the north, such as all-season roads.

“As Ontario enters tighter fiscal conditions, it is encouraging that the government continues to invest in new infrastructure and skills training,” said Karen Renkema, VP Ontario at PCA. “These are the kinds of investments that make a difference to our communities, our members and so many Ontario workers.”

Budget 2024 also highlights the significant investments in energy procurement.  A recent report by the Independent Energy System Operator (IESO) found that Ontario will need to invest $400 billion by 2050 to meet future energy demand.

“Given the size and importance of this investment, it’s a shame that our contractors and their workers are shut out of building and maintaining much of Ontario’s energy infrastructure,” added Renkema. “It’s time that changed, so that ratepayers, workers and contractors are treated fairly.”

Budget 2024 projects a deficit of $9.8 billion, which delays the province’s plan to balance the budget to 2026/27.

PCA is also pleased that the budget earmarks an additional $100 million for the Skills Development Fund (SDF) in 2024/25 which helps jobs seekers, including apprentices, get the skills they need to advance their careers.  Our labour partner CLAC has been the recipient of previous SDF grants which have funded innovative training programs.