On-Site Magazine
News

Infrastructure, skills training funding in federal budget


Print this page

April 22, 2015 by STAFF REPORT

Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver receives applause from his party colleagues after presenting the budget to the house on April 21.
Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver receives applause from his party colleagues after presenting the budget to the house on April 21.

The federal government budget announcement of additional funding for infrastructure projects has been met with support from The Canadian Construction Association.

This new Public Transit Fund will provide Canadian cities with greater flexibility and predictability permitting them to move transit projects forward from concept to construction in a timely manner, says CCA in a release.

“Congestion in urban areas has become a significant problem in many of Canada’s largest cities,” says CCA president Michael Atkinson. “This new permanent funding source will provide municipalities with the funding certainty they need to proceed with long-term public transit planning.”

The new fund doesn’t start up until 2017-18 – well after this October’s scheduled federal election. It includes $750 million over two years, followed by $1 billion a year, “ongoing thereafter,” to help finance public-private partnerships, or P3s, to pay for projects and upgrades with a combination of public and private investment.

“Since the era of the Last Spike, infrastructure has been vital to Canada’s success as a country – which is why it is a key priority for our government,” said Joe OIiver, Canada’s finance minister. “Our New Building Canada Plan is the largest long-term federal investment in infrastructure in our country’s history.

“This new fund will complement the government’s existing infrastructure support by providing significant long-term support for public transit projects that can improve the mobility of goods and people and provide broad economic and social benefits to Canadian cities,” Oliver said during his budget presentation yesterday.

Other highlights out of the federal budget that will impact the construction sector include:

  • Creation of the new Canada 150 program that will support the development and reconstruction  and expansion of existing cultural and shared heritage projects across Canada;
  • Continuing commitment to provide $5.35 billion per year on average for provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure under the New Building Canada Plan;
  • Commitment to introduce accelerated capital cost allowance measures to support the construction of an LNG industry in Canada; 
  • Actions to help harmonize apprenticeship training and certification requirements in targeted Red Seal trades. This measure will directly benefit apprentices by ensuring that they are able to have their credentials recognized in all Canadian provinces, making it easier to relocate to work and train where the jobs are.
  • $1 million over five years to promote the adoption of the Blue Seal Certification program across Canada;
  •  Commitment to reduce over four years to the small business tax rate 11 per cent to 9 per cent.