12 reasons to love the federal budget
By Corinne LyndsConstruction Infrastructure budget editorial infrastructure labour
Contractors across the country were ‘high-fiving’ each other after Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled the federal budget on March 22. And rightly so!
The government’s long-term commitment to infrastructure and labour initiatives will not only address Canada’s need for key infrastructure investments, but will also make a significant impact in stimulating our economy.
Not surprisingly, the federal budget is getting a ‘thumbs up’ from construction leaders across the sector.
“Budget 2016 commits an impressive additional $60 billion plus in new federal infrastructure investments in two phases, while accelerating portions of the existing Building Canada Fund,” said Michael Atkinson, president of the Canadian Construction Association.
“The federal government clearly recognizes that there is an urgent need in Canada to make key infrastructure investments across the country,” said PCA president Paul de Jong.
And appreciation from industry experts continues to roll in. (For more, see Construction leaders applaud federal budget initiatives on page 8)
Budget 2016 is a pretty hefty document to wade through. In an effort to make life a little easier, here’s 12 reasons that contractors should love the federal budget:
- $60 billion plus in new federal infrastructure investments in two phases, while accelerating portions of the existing Building Canada Fund.
- Commits unused portions of the previous Building Canada Fund to the Gas Tax Fund over the next two years.
- $3.4 billion in investments for federal infrastructure assets.
- $2 billion over three years starting this fiscal year for a new post-secondary institution investment fund.
- $3.4 billion over three years to upgrade and improve public transit systems across Canada.
- $5 billion over five years for investments in water, wastewater and green infrastructure projects across Canada.
- $3.4 billion over five years for social infrastructure spending on social housing, early learning and child care, cultural and recreational infrastructure, and community care facilities.
- $125 million in 2016-17 for Labour Market Development Agreements (LMDA) and an additional $50 million in 2016-17 for Canada Job Fund Agreements.
- $2.24 billion over five years to improve on reserve water and wastewater infrastructure and waste management.
- $255 million over two years to the First Nations Infrastructure Fund to support investments such as roads, bridges, energy systems and physical infrastructure to mitigate the effects of natural disasters.
- Expanding access to EI for new entrants, reducing wait times for receiving EI, simplifying job search requirements, and extending EI regular benefits in certain areas.
- Proposed $85.4 million over five years that is designated to support union-based apprenticeship training.