On-Site Magazine

CCA asking for infrastructure clarity following Minister’s comments

By Adam Freill   

Construction Infrastructure Roads

Construction industry condemns Environment Minister's lack of support for Canada's road infrastructure, calls on feds for explanation.

Construction industry condemns Environment Minister’s lack of support for Canada’s road infrastructure. (CNW Group/Canadian Construction Association)

Canada’s construction industry is demanding clarity from the government of Canada on future investment in new road infrastructure after comments made earlier this week by Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault.

Addressing attendees at a fundraising luncheon in Montreal, the minister promoted the virtues of public transit while criticizing the expansion of roadways. According to media reports from the event, Guilbeault explained that federal support to provinces for maintenance will continue, but claimed that existing road infrastructure “is perfectly adequate to respond to the needs we have.”

In a statement from the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) addressing his comments, the national organization explained how infrastructure needs are tied directly to housing, and the level of home building that will be needed to deal with an acute housing crisis.

“The government is asking our industry to build 5.8 million new homes, but is overlooking the investment needed to support these homes and communities,” read the commentary.


According to a report by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), public investment needed per new housing unit is estimated to be $107,000 . This amounts to $620 billion in public funding needed for the infrastructure to support the additional housing growth, which is an additional $375 billion beyond the current planned budget.

“These new communities need new roads. People need to be connected to their jobs, their schools, and their hospitals,” stated CCA president Mary Van Buren. “A growing population has growing demands. We not only need the road networks to support their movement; we also need to shore up our trade infrastructure, which includes roads, bridges and highways.”

According to information shared by CCA, Canada has been under-investing in trade-enabling infrastructure for the past 15 years. The organization says one need only look at Canada’s drop from 10th to 32nd in the World Economic Forum’s global trade infrastructure ranking for evidence of this growing deficit.

“Without continued investment in critical infrastructure, as recommended by the National Supply Chain Task Force, including trade-enabling infrastructure, Canada will fail to harness trade with its international partners for its economic success,” reads the CCA statement.

As such, CCA, which represents more than 18,000 member firms drawn from 62 local and provincial integrated partner associations, is calling on the federal government to partner with industry and work with municipal and provincial governments to build a strong foundation for a stronger Canada.

CCA has a list of recommendations to government in advance of the 2024 Federal Budget.




Stories continue below