From Canada's Building Trades Unions <[email protected]>
Subject CBTU: A Message From The Executive Director /SMCC: Un Message Du Directeur Exécutif
Date March 29, 2021 2:43 PM
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In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled ([link removed]) the federal government's carbon pricing regime is constitutional.

** -- français à suivre --

** Date for Federal Budget Announced; Community Building Fund Increased; Provincial Budgets Tabled
March Madness is extending beyond the basketball court; I hope you had time to pick your bracket because the next bet will be the date of a Federal election. The Feds had an important win last week; in a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled ([link removed]) the federal government's carbon pricing regime is constitutional. They also announced April 19 ([link removed]) for the 2021-22 Budget; the first in nearly two years. The Canadian Executive Board have been actively engaging with various Cabinet Ministers to ensure our priorities for the budget are kept top of mind. Expect more on this in the coming weeks, but you can find our Budget Priorities here. ([link removed])

Increased Funding for Municipalities

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland announced plans to double the federal Gas Tax Fund transfer tabling Bill C-25, rebranding it the Canada Community Building Fund. If passed, an additional $2.2 billion will flow directly to cities and communities injecting much needed capital into municipal budgets that have been hard hit by the pandemic.

CBTU, along with our affiliates and councils, have lobbied the government through meetings with high-ranking ministers – including Minister Freeland and Minister McKenna (Infrastructure and Communities) – to send funds directly to municipalities to speed up the process. As CBTU has said, and yesterday's Auditor General report ([link removed]) confirmed, there have been significant delays in federal infrastructure spending.

The government has heard and reacted to our advocacy efforts. This announcement, along with the government's recent public transit investment ([link removed]) of $14.9 billion – which includes direct funding to municipalities – is much welcomed news.

Provincial Budgets

Ontario, Nova Scotia and Quebec released their 2021 provincial budgets this week which highlighted each government's post-pandemic plan to get their province back on track. While each budget entailed significant investments in healthcare, long-term care, and other COVID-19 supports, we are pleased to see notable investments in infrastructure and training.

Ontario Highlights:
* $16.9 billion in infrastructure investments for a total of $145.4 billion over the next 10 years.
* $61.6 billion over 10 years for public transit including $150 million in additional funding to support municipal transit systems in 2021-22 and over $21 billion over 10 years to support the planning or construction of highway expansions and rehabilitation projects.
* $288.2 million in for its Skilled Trades Strategy.
* $260 million for the Ontario Jobs Training Tax Credit for 2021-22 which will provide up to $2,000 per recipient eligible expenses, and will support an estimated 230,000 people.

Nova Scotia Highlights:
* $217.2 million for school capital construction projects, including major design, build, and renovation projects for schools.
* $467 million for roads, highways, and bridges, and equipment.
* $119.6 million for the maintenance of highways.
* $80 million this year to fight climate change and create jobs by growing the green economy.

Quebec Highlights:
* $135 billion in infrastructure spending over the next 10 years, with $13.4 billion moved ahead of schedule into the first five years.
* Investments include a 50/50 split in investments between the road network and public transit ($49 billion each over 10 years), $43.5 million in 2021-22 to support the construction and renovation of municipal buildings, and $41.1 million to help accelerate environmental assessments of projects.
* $157.5 million for job retraining and $50.9 million for youth employment centres.

Vaccine Roll Out

As of today,construction workers will now be included in Phase 2 ([link removed]) of the COVID-19 vaccine roll out in the province of Ontario. This is a direct result of the hard fought campaign by Building Trades leaders in the province.

Your continued efforts to make the priorities of Building Trades members heard in government halls across the country, is effective and important. Looking ahead to Budget 2021, we need to continue to lobby the Federal government for significant infrastructure investment to put our members to work as we look towards our post-pandemic recovery.

Stay safe,

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Canada's Building Trades Unions . 72 Chamberlain Avenue . Ottawa, ON K1S 1V9 . Canada

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