CCA condemns environment minister’s lack of support road infrastructure

The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) is demanding clarity from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on future investments in new road infrastructure after comments made earlier this week by environment minister Steven Guilbeault.

This week, Guilbeault explained while federal support to provinces for road maintenance will continue, existing road infrastructure “is perfectly adequate to respond to the needs we have.”

In a news release, the CCA outlined the Canadian construction sector is dealing with an acute housing crisis. The government is asking the industry to build 5.8 million new homes, but is overlooking the investment needed to support these homes and communities.

“These new communities need new roads. People need to be connected to their jobs, their schools, and their hospitals,” said Mary Van Buren, President of the Canadian Construction Association.

“A growing population has growing demands. We not only need the road networks to support their movement; we also need to shore up our trade infrastructure, which includes roads, bridges and highways.”

A report by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) estimates that it will require $107,000 in public investments per new housing unit. This amounts to a total of $620 billion in public funding needed – an additional $375 billion beyond the current planned budget.

According to the CCA, Canada has been under-investing in its trade-enabling infrastructure for 15 years, as evidenced by the drop from 10th to 32nd in terms the World Economic Forum’s global trade infrastructure ranking.

Without continued investment in critical infrastructure, as recommended by the National Supply Chain Task Force, including trade-enabling infrastructure, Canada will fail to harness trade with its international partners for its economic success. “We need the federal government to partner with industry and work with municipal and provincial governments to build a strong foundation for a stronger Canada” the CCA said in a news release.