BCCA Response to Federal Budget 2024

April 22, 2024

BCCA response to the federal budget announcement:

The 2024 Federal Budget falls short on a number of policies required to meet the needs of BC’s construction industry, specifically in terms of workforce solutions and infrastructure. Our concern is that demand stimulated by aggressive housing targets and loan programs will surpass the BC construction industry’s current capacity, given inflation as well as our province’s workforce shortages and lack of payment certainty.

Workforce:
We know through our experience and success with the BCCA Apprenticeship Services program that, in the right hands, workforce solution programs can be highly effective. We applaud the Federal government for recognizing that more investment is needed if we are to house Canadians. Where we need to see action is in immigration reform: the current outdated point system needs additional improvement, and Ottawa must work with the provinces to ensure better skills matching. Let’s remove the barriers to entry for qualified, skilled workers by eliminating the requirement that ties immigration to a job offer. Construction requires more flexibility than that.

Zoning:
Meeting Canada’s aggressive housing targets means making working with municipalities on permitting and zoning more efficient. BCCA will continue to encourage and support municipalities in improving best practices. We applaud the Federal government’s recognition that such barriers must be dismantled.

Infrastructure:
We share the CCA’s disappointment in the lack of movement on the National Infrastructure Assessment. BC’s aging infrastructure needs to be addressed, and this includes ensuring the construction and maintenance of roadways required to service new construction. Numbers from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities show that each new housing unit requires $107,000 in public infrastructure investment. This means that an additional $128 billion is needed to build, support, and connect these homes to essential housing-enabling infrastructure. How does the government propose to make up the shortfall?

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