Rock to Road

News
CCA happy with continued infrastructure spending


March 8, 2010
By Andy Bateman

March
7, 2010 – The Canadian Construction
Association (
CCA) is very pleased to see the federal government follow
through on the second year of the infrastructure stimulus measures from the
Economic Action Plan, says a recent Association release.

"The
federal government has recognized the importance of infrastructure and
maintained its investment in development and renewal. The much needed spending
announced last year provided stimulus to the Canadian economy through
investments in infrastructure, college infrastructure, green technology, as
well as new incentives to help in retraining Canada's unemployed," said
Michael Atkinson, President of the Canadian Construction Association.

The infrastructure programs in Budget 2009 have been instrumental in the rise
of employment in Canada's
construction industry since August. These important investments made by
federal, provincial and municipal governments have not only been a necessary
source of stimulus, but are long-overdue investments in the modernization of
our Nation's infrastructure which will be critical to our future global
competitiveness.

However, the industry is concerned with the impact an abrupt withdrawal of
funding from these stimulus programs would have on construction employment and
economic activity.

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"We believe a tapered withdrawal of stimulus funding poses less of a
threat to Canada's
economic recovery than the currently proposed deadline on these programs.
Canada needs to continue to invest in its public infrastructure not simply
because it stimulates the economy in the short term but because it is an
investment in the very foundation of our Nation's future that ensures Canada's
ability to remain competitive on the international stage, increase
productivity, and to build upon our economic and social prosperity," said
Atkinson.

While the CCA is pleased to see the Employment Insurance premiums frozen for
2010, it is concerned about the future impact significant increases in EI
premiums will have on employment moving forward.

Canada's construction
industry employs close to 1.2 million men and women, adds the Association, 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.
Construction remains the barometer of economic health because any significant
increase in construction activity produces thousands of spin-off jobs in other
sectors such as steel, engineering, forestry, autos, banking and retail.