The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) gives Budget 2009 high marks for providing much needed stimulus to the flagging Canadian economy through investments in traditional infrastructure, college infrastructure and green technologies, as well as new incentives to help retrain Canada’s unemployed.
“Our industry is pleased the government recognized that the best and quickest way to get Canadians back to work is through investments in infrastructure – every billion dollars invested means more than 11,500 jobs.” said Michael Atkinson, president of the Canadian Construction Association in Ottawa following the tabling of Tuesday’s federal Budget. “We have both an infrastructure and economic crisis – the time is right to accelerate the long overdue modernization of Canada’s crumbling infrastructure in a way that will create jobs, stimulate economic recovery, and better our communities while providing Canadian taxpayers with the best bang for their stimulus buck.”
Canada’s construction industry employs close to 1.2 million men and women, and accounts for approximately 6 per cent of Canada’s annual GDP. It buys goods and services in every region of the country and in every sector of the economy. As such, any significant increase in construction activity produces thousands of spin-off jobs in other sectors – steel, engineering, forestry, autos, banking and retail – which is why it remains the barometer of economic health.
“CCA believes investing in the modernization of Canada’s aging infrastructure is paramount. Not only will investing in infrastructure create immediate improvements and jobs today, but it will create better roads, bridges and overpasses, safer drinking water and cleaner sewage treatment facilities, as well as modern hospitals, schools, colleges and universities all of which are critical in today’s global economy to attracting new businesses and jobs to Canada. By investing in Canada today, we ensure our economy will be ready to compete tomorrow and communities from Corner Brook to Montreal, Cambridge to Calgary, and Kamloops to Victoria all benefit,” he said.
CCA was also pleased with the government announcement to invest in college infrastructure, green infrastructure, and job retraining and supports for displaced workers. They were also pleased with the announcement that EI premiums will be frozen for the next two years.
“The infrastructure measures announced in today’s federal Budget are critical to ensuring that Canadian communities, businesses and our workforce are well-equipped and prepared to respond to the new opportunities that will present themselves as the economy recovers,” said Atkinson.
Atkinson concluded, “The men and women of the construction industry are ready to get to work across Canada and contribute to the strengthening of the Canadian economy.”