Ontario Construction News staff writer
The federal government tabled its first budget in more than two years on Monday. Here are some ways the construction industry could be impacted:
- Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced a plan to increase the 10-year, $40-billion housing strategy with an additional $2.5 billion.
- About 60 per cent will go to construction of 4,500 new units under the Rapid Housing Initiative, and the budget also included a plan to build or repair 35,000 units across the country.
- Freeland also reannounced an eight-year, $15-billion pledge from February for public transit projects ranging from new subway lines to electric buses and $23 million over four years for Infrastructure Canada to conduct a national infrastructure assessment.
- The budget also includes $2.4 billion over three years for skills and trades, with about 40 per cent for training in sectors ranging from health care to construction.
- $5.7 billion was announced over five years to help post-secondary students, doubling federal student grants and waiving interest on federal student loans until March 2023.
- Increasing the federal minimum wage to $15, and committing $300 million to programs for Black and women entrepreneurs and other underrepresented groups.
- The federal government says it will add $1 billion to a fund for improving high-speed communications in rural and remote areas of Canada, bringing the total to $2.75 billion by 2026. This is in addition to $1.75 billion projected by the federal government’s November fiscal update.
- More than $6 billion was included for infrastructure in Indigenous communities.
RESCON applauds federal government’s 2021 budget