The federal government needs to invest in infrastructure at a level that was planned prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, states the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) in its federal pre-budget submission that was recently presented to the Standing Committee on Finance.
“The federal government must continue to focus on infrastructure investments as a path to Canada’s economic recovery,” writes Andy Manahan, executive director of RCCAO, and Nadia Todorova, senior director of government relations, in a letter accompanying the brief. “Failing to do so will have devastating and long-term social, economic and environmental consequences for our country.”
The brief outlines RCCAO’s position on the federal funding issue and makes three recommendations:
- Recommendation 1: To provide more immediate stimulus, the government should provide enhanced funding to maintain municipal assets in a state of good repair.
- Recommendation 2: That the government commit to investing in infrastructure at the level that was planned prior to the COVID-19 crisis and consider maximizing any investments given the current pandemic.
- Recommendation 3: That the government collaborate with provincial governments on innovative methods to facilitate and streamline infrastructure and other projects, such as: advancing electronic permitting and approvals; using energy-efficient materials in buildings; and supporting new mobility/parking standards.
RCCAO applauds the federal government for the cooperative approach it has taken with provincial, territorial and municipal governments since the beginning of the pandemic and for the recent $19-billion assistance through the Safe Restart Agreement.
“We believe that this funding is a promising start to ensure that municipalities across Canada have the financial support necessary to not only weather the devastating impacts of the pandemic, but also to continue focusing on critical investments that are key to recovery in many local jurisdictions,” write Manahan and Todorova.
The brief also stresses the importance of streamlining processes to fast track approvals to build desperately needed Canadian infrastructure: “We know these are difficult times, however we are proud of the way that Canadians have risen to the occasion and have shown unity and care for the collective well-being of all. While these three major recommendations are straightforward in nature, a strong commitment and long-term resolve will be required to achieve the positive outcomes.”
RCCAO is a unique alliance of labour and management stakeholders from the residential and civil construction sectors. A primary focus of RCCAO is the importance of investing in public works – from transit and water systems to roads and bridges – and doing so smartly and efficiently for taxpayers.
To read the complete submission, click here.
Featured image credit: RCCAO.