On-Site Magazine

Construction industry leaders support worker mobility legislation

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November 12, 2013 by STAFF REPORT

Construction industry leaders are backing Bill C-201, a mobility tax credit to help construction workers cover travel costs when temporarily relocating for short-term jobs. Many believe it would create new opportunities for underemployed Canadian tradespeople.

Robert Blakely, chief operating officer of Canada’s Building Trades Unions, Michael Atkinson, president of the Canadian Construction Association and Neil Tidsbury, president of the Construction Labour Relations-Alberta have signed open letter, which calls for the tax credit and outlines the human resources challenges facing the industry. The letter was published in the Globe and Mail, the National Post and the Hill Times.

The construction industry is facing a severe skills shortage with an aging workforce heading into retirement and not enough new recruits to replace them. To keep up with demand, more than 250,000 new workers will be needed by the end of the decade. Some regions in Canada are already experiencing skilled labour shortages. 

Since many resource projects are often located in remote areas with small populations, they rely heavily on skilled workers who are willing to relocate for short-term work. However, travel and temporary living costs are about $3,500 – a cost the individual has to pay unless their employer covers it – and existing tax exemptions apply only to workers who are provided lodging directly on-site.

For more information visit www.buildingtrades.ca/Legislative-Issues/Government-Affairs-and-Public-Policy/Putting-Canadians-First.aspx