Collective advocacy for the civil sector

Representing over 20,000 member firms, the Canadian Construction Association (CCA) is proud of our mission to inspire a progressive, innovative and sustainable construction industry.

The key to our success is working with valued partner associations like SHCA. We are powered by your engagement. Together, we are driving change on key issues that make a real impact, not only for the industry but for all Canadians.

Smart infrastructure plan backed by investment

As the industry’s national advocate, CCA has been working to help shape a long-term plan for sustainable infrastructure investment. CCA understands that one size does not fit all. Every region and municipality, including our Indigenous communities, have different needs and priorities.

Working with our partners at the WCR&HCA, we released a report, From Shovel Ready to Shovel Worthy, to strengthen our case for a national trade-enabling infrastructure plan. It identifies key trade gateways and corridors across the country, including Western Canada, that will link resources to industry, people to jobs and products to market. We are also supporting a media and government relations outreach campaign to create more momentum and support for this initiative.

Workforce an urgent priority

Members from across Canada have told us they need a skilled workforce to deliver on the many infrastructure projects underway or in the pipeline.

Even the best laid plans can be derailed without the workers we need to keep us on track. There are over 81,000 open jobs in construction that the industry is struggling to fill nationwide because of baby boomer retirements, pandemic aftershocks and, quite simply, a public misconception about careers in construction.

CCA has been very public about the need for an overhaul of the current immigration points system – one that does not value skilled trades, or many civil sector workers who are skilled, but not considered trade workers. The Temporary Foreign Worker program could also be utilized to address the need for seasonal labourers.

The Canadian construction industry recognizes the benefits of a diverse, inclusive and equitable work culture. In 2020, we launched our Talent Fits Here initiative, a national public awareness campaign designed to attract workers by positioning construction as a career of choice. Afterall, “[construction] is the foundation of our world.”

We are also thrilled to be partnering with the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum on a federal government initiative offering financial incentives to employers who hire first-year apprentices in 39 Red Seal trades. This program will provide support to employers wanting to hire apprentices and promote the skilled trades as a first-choice career for youth, women, Indigenous peoples, LGBTQ+, immigrants and foreign workers.

Fair procurement

CCA’s semi-annual Meech Lake meeting with government leaders resulted in a commitment to establish a working group on procurement and project delivery methods. We also embarked on a fact-finding mission last summer to learn first-hand from members about their challenges with current procurement practices. Dubbed the Standard Practices Tour, CCA visited Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, St. John’s and Montreal in June 2022.

As outlined in our report, we intend to educate owners on the challenges identified by our members. Procurement needs to adapt to encourage innovation, account for long-term value and sustainability, promote the use of alternative delivery models and support shared risk. Too often contractors take on the risk of project costs and delays due to the shortage of workers, materials and supply chain disruptions.

Action-backed policies to support green infrastructure

As a result of the united advocacy of CCA and our integrated partner associations, federal procurement strategies are on the agenda. We all know that construction has a major role to play in achieving Canada’s net zero targets, and the federal government must act now to support businesses’ decarbonization efforts over the coming decade.

This includes updating building codes, providing incentives for businesses, sharing climate data and creating a list of approved “green” materials.