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ELECTION 44 UPDATE: Construction Top Priority for Construction Leaders

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Canadians will go to the polls September 20. 

Currently, we have yet to see a complete platform from all of the parties. The OGCA will be working with the Canadian Construction Association and the General Contractors Alliance of Canada to inform our members about the impact of each party’s platform on the construction industry.

Over the past year, the OGCA and our federal partners have advocated for a plan to “Build for Recovery.” This would include a system that requires public bodies to develop and submit infrastructure asset management plans based on a standardized framework for classification, assessment and measurement to determine federal funding eligibility.

It has come to the attention of our members that there are significant issues in how provinces and municipalities access federal funding for public projects: most notably that they are required to submit individual project applications for federal funding. This results in the federal government reviewing tens of thousands of project applications to decide which ones deserve financing.

Over their mandate, the Liberals have provided historic levels of infrastructure investment, particularly in “green infrastructure." Although the full details of the platform have yet to be released, their plan will conduct the first National Infrastructure Assessment to identify needs and priorities for $22.6 million over four years. The party has also committed to recapitalize the National Trade Corridors Fund with $1.9 billion over four years to aid upgrades to transport routes, with 15 percent dedicated to the North, and support high-speed internet access in rural and remote areas.

From what we have seen, there are a few things in the Conservative platform, particularly the increase to the apprenticeship tax credit for employers, that are welcome news to construction employers. Their platform supports First Nations and municipalities on infrastructure development and will ensure there is a little more flexibility on what projects the federal government can fund.

By comparison, the NDP platform will create a “new deal” for rural infrastructure programs to provide long-term, predictable funding, along with increased funding from the federal government to deal with the effects of climate change and disaster recovery. They will also develop a high-frequency rail system along the Quebec-Windsor corridor and declare high-speed internet an essential service.

The OGCA will continue to inform our members regarding the 2021 Federal Election. For updated platform comparison, visit Mclean’s Federal Election Guide here.


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