b'CCA NEWSCANADAS ECONOMIC RECOVERY POWERED BY INFRASTRUCTURE By Mary Van Buren, CCA PresidentThe world in 2021 looks very different from what many ofwork together in our pandemic economic recovery efforts. us could have imagined just over 14 months ago. COVID-19The benefits of free trade are well known. Removing trade has highlighted our resiliency as an industry. Companies andbarriers reduces the cost of doing business, which will increase their employees adapted quickly to new ways of working andinvestment and jobs. continued to deliver the essential services that Canadians relyAcademic studies suggest that for every dollar spent on on every day. This is a point of pride we all share as we forgeinfrastructure there is a three-dollar return on investment.ahead, focused on economic recovery. We are advocating that part of the federal governmentsAs Canada looks to revitalize its economy in the wake of the strategy to accelerate economic recovery across CanadaCOVID-19 pandemic, investing in infrastructure is now more must include infrastructure investment supported by training.important than ever. Large infrastructure projectsthings like While billions of dollars have already been earmarkedroads, bridges and pipelines, light-rail transit construction, through the Investing in Canada Plan, these funds are sittingschools and hospitals and wastewater managementall in limbo between layers of government. These billions, whilecontribute to a countrys economic prosperity, quality of life, necessary, are not sufficient to address the serious deficit ofjob creation and international competitiveness.our aging infrastructure, as we have outlined in the CanadianThese investments provide an opportunity to reshape our Infrastructure Report Card. communities and strengthen the construction sector. With The funding must also be better planned, ensuring thatan estimated 300,000 jobs needing to be filled by 2028, CCA municipalities, provinces and the federal government areand our members are focused on securing the right skills for lined up, and that project tenders and the related new build,the industry, now and in the future. CCA is looking for ways to maintenance or retrofit flow smoothly. Canada needs yearpartner with the federal government on our Talent Fits Here over year consistency and a longer-term strategy to promoteinitiative. The need for workers is strong, and Canada needs a economic stability and boost employment, so a 12-year planlarger supply of qualified people to fill these roles. Investing is not enough. Infrastructure operates on a 25-year cycle,in programs to address these labour shortages will provide a which is why CCA has been calling on the federal governmentviable and inclusive employment sector for Canadians, while to commit to a 25-year plan for infrastructure investment inalso attracting a diverse and skilled workforce. Together, Canada with prescribed annual commitment levels.we can reach more Canadians to demonstrate the breadth of opportunities available within construction, place more A clear, fair, balanced and flexible program will create jobs,apprentices, and absorb some of the talent from harder hit enhance communities and ensure stability in the Canadiansectors who may have found themselves unemployed because economy over the years to come. Part of the plan must includeof COVID-19. the swift rollout of existing funds from the Investing in CanadaCCA believes passionately in the sustainability and vitality of Plan and greater flexibility in how funds are allocated to meetCanadas construction industry and the industrys pivotal role specific provincial and municipal needs.in Building a Better Canada. The industry provides jobs, injects With improved coordination, communication and transparencysocioeconomic opportunities and life into a community, and between all levels of government, infrastructure investmentscreates infrastructure critical to keeping the country moving can be delivered more efficiently, speeding up the start offorward. The world is changing, and the industry is changing projects and getting people back to work. with it. The recent announcement of Canadas first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment is a step in the right direction. While the federal government has shown leadership in reimbursing for COVID-19 costs on federal projects, provincialLets stay in contact and municipal governments should follow. Maintaining aPlease email me at mvanburen@cca-acc.com if free-flowing system of trade and labour mobility betweenyou have any feedback or comments on how the provinces has never been more important, both within CanadaCCA can serve you better. Stay in the loop by subscribing and externally. Interprovincial trade barriers and buy-localto CCAs newsletter at bit.ly/ccasubscribe, by followingpolicies run counter to the principles of free trade and fair@ConstructionCAN on Twitter or by looking upprocurement. Protectionism is never the right solution. NowCanadian Construction Association on LinkedIn.is the time for provinces and industries across Canada to 30 BUILD MANITOBAwinnipegconstruction.ca'