Federal government must focus on housing and immigration: RESCON

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) says it is pleased that housing, immigration, and stability of the supply chain were items touched on in the recent Throne Speech.

“Lack of housing supply, in particular, was identified during the recent federal election as a critical issue that must be addressed because it threatens to derail our economic recovery,” explained RESCON president Richard Lyall. “We are glad to hear that the government is committed to working with its partners to get real results on the issue and the industry is looking forward to helping find solutions to the problem.”

The speech delivered by Governor General Mary Simon noted that a $4-billion Housing Accelerator Fund will help municipalities build more and speed-up approval times. Canadian families will also be able to buy their first home sooner with a more flexible First-Time Home Buyer’s Incentive as well as a new Rent-to-Own Program.

The government noted in the speech that it will continue increasing immigration levels and reducing wait times, and also that the country’s prosperity depends on ensuring the supply chains are strong and resilient.

“The construction industry has traditionally relied on immigration to fill any labour gaps,” said Lyall. “In addition to domestic recruitment, we need immigrants with the skills to work in construction to replace older workers who are retiring. We must keep pace with demand and should welcome immigrants interested in specialized careers in the residential construction sector.”

RESCON supports expanding the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program, which is the primary mechanism used by the province to attract the skilled workers it needs. Under the present system, Ontario can only nominate about 9,000 immigrants a year. The province has called on the federal government to double that number.

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