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Looking and planning ahead key priorities for construction industry and government

Looking and planning ahead key priorities for construction industry and government

Synopsis
3 Minute Read

Adjusting to the post-pandemic world and planning for a solid future were key topics of discussion at the 2023 Hill Day event.

Partner and Business Advisor

In a rapidly evolving industry such as real estate and construction, innovation and adaptability are key to relevance and ongoing success. As such, themes of the post-pandemic reality and forward-thinking dominated the conversation at the 2023 Canadian Construction Association’s Hill Day event on November 7.

Industry leaders, advocates, and business owners met with MPs and other policymakers on Parliament Hill for the annual event to engage in discussions impacting all aspects of construction and real estate – from federal funding to workforce needs – to better understand the needs and priorities of industry.

Below is a summary of some of the key topics discussed and insight on government and industry proposals and priorities presented at the event.

Meeting the growing demand for new housing starts

Moving forward from the COVID-19 pandemic and looking ahead to infrastructure commitments, industry leaders challenged the government to formally put a multi-year infrastructure plan in place.

This would give the industry a chance to better plan the years ahead and to see where resources are going to come from.

Infrastructure will also be needed to support large-scale housing initiatives (i.e. commercial, institutional, industrial) as well as roads and other civil construction projects. In this vein, industry leaders argued that more emphasis and priority must be placed on “shovel worthy” projects as opposed to “shovel ready” ones.

The new Housing Accelerator Fund may help to address some of the national housing challenges by issuing funds directly to municipalities to empower them to generate, innovate, and move forward with specific initiatives to remove density exclusionary zones.

Ongoing labour shortages

Labour challenges continue to be top of mind for many in the real estate and construction industry.

Building a workforce plan was of particular concern for industry leaders at the Hill Day event. Many construction jobs and roles do not require formal precertification, limiting the ability to attract a construction labour force through immigration, based on the current system.

In addition, the federal government plans to level out the number of new permanent residents to Canada in 2026 in reaction to crunch on housing and other services. The targets are expected to be 400,000 new permanent residents in 2023, 485,000 in 2024, and 500,000 in 2025.

Procurement

There is a push for more collaboration and sharing of risks for infrastructure projects, as the government trends toward increasing risk for contractors.

Consistency is another key priority when it comes to the Canadian Construction Documents Committee’s accepted roadmap. As the industry moves more towards standardization of contracts for projects, the need for government to accept and use available outlines when working with industry is vital. Speaking in the same language will keep a fair playing field in the industry and greatly decrease misunderstanding and inefficient communication.

For large capital projects, the use of NDAs was presented as an opportunity for government to effectively discuss risk and identify innovative approached prior to tendering contracts in order to be more collaborative with industry.

Hill Day 2023 recap

Our firm’s experience at the 2023 Hill Day event was overall very positive and allowed for ongoing connections within the industry and important advocacy efforts that will help push the needle forward on key issues.

Staying up to date and involved in ongoing government discussions and policymaking is significant for MNP as it allows us to help our clients navigate challenging times – from inflation to increased interest rates, labour shortages, and increasingly risky projects.

We see great potential and a strong need for a long-term infrastructure plan to ensure government and industry align on their plans and can move forward without the hurdles that create misunderstanding.

There is significant potential for MNP to work closely with existing immigrants, safety associations, and immigrant services to assist with communication on key items to integrate into Canadian construction companies. Additionally, we see great value in working with municipalities to promote pre-project meetings and following the guidelines recommended by the Canadian Construction Association to keep projects moving and transparent.

Contact us

To learn more about MNP’s advocacy efforts and how we can help our clients meet their goals and needs, contact Carla Milne, CPA, CA.

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