Construction economists call for reform
By Adam FreillConstruction Financing Leadership
Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors calls on government to engage with industry professionals in pursuit of solutions to housing crisis.
Canada’s construction economists are pressing the federal government to increase its engagement with industry professionals when navigating such issues as sustainability and the mounting housing affordability crisis.
In a press conference in Ottawa this week, the Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (CIQS), which represents Professional Quantity Surveyors (PQS) and Construction Estimators Certified (CEC) professionals, pointed to the federal government’s gaps in ensuring Canada’s future infrastructure adheres to contemporary, cost-efficient and eco-friendly standards. The organization outlined its belief that deficiencies stem from the government’s limited engagement with industry professionals skilled in evaluating the effectiveness and sustainability of upcoming construction initiatives.
“While the federal government has pledged over $20 billion towards green infrastructure initiatives, they must also guarantee the cost-effectiveness of these projects and a net-zero focus for future Canadian infrastructure,” stated Sheila Lennon, chief executive officer of CIQS. “The expertise of construction economists is pivotal in bridging this developmental gap.”
CIQS says that, Canada’s construction economists, PQS and CECs, can aid the government by integrating enhanced analysis, risk evaluation, and cost forecasting into the federal planning and acquisition processes.
“Our role is crucial in optimizing developers’ time, funds and resources,” said CIQS vice-chair Tammy Stockley. “Investments should assure costs and deliver maximum value to taxpayers. Now, as the focus shifts to major public infrastructure projects, Canadians deserve to see their tax money’s worth. We stand ready to bolster climate resilience, emissions reduction, economic greening, and the creation of quality middle-class employment opportunities.”
The organization’s executives also questioned the government’s delayed enactment of the Federal Prompt Payment for Construction Work Act, a piece of legislation that was green-lit in 2019. The act that was designed to ensure timely payments to contractors and subcontractors, says CIQS, is crucial in upholding financial stability and fostering mutual trust in the construction ecosystem.