CCA advancing need for foundational infrastructure and workforce capacity  

By Mary Van Buren, Canadian Construction Association

Representing more than 18,000 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 collective success is working with valued partner associations like the Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association (SHCA). Together, we are driving impactful change on key issues, benefitting not just our industry, but all Canadians. 

2023 marked a pivotal moment for CCA and the Canadian construction industry – a year where we demonstrated our unwavering commitment to building a stronger Canada though partnership, planning and consultation.

A strong foundation for a stronger Canada

With many Canadians distressed about the housing crisis, high cost of living and economic uncertainty impacting their daily lives, CCA launched an industry call to action urging the federal government to partner with the construction industry on building “a strong foundation for a stronger Canada.” Hundreds of letters were sent to local MPs reminding them of the urgency to partner with the Canadian construction industry on a comprehensive infrastructure plan, workforce development and procurement modernization. 

This campaign was bolstered by our annual Hill Day event on Nov. 7, 2023, where close to 100 industry experts met with parliamentarians to discuss the construction sector’s essential role in creating and maintaining the infrastructure Canadians use daily. This includes the foundational infrastructure at the heart of new homes and communities. Over 70 meetings were held throughout the day, followed by a reception that evening where CCA, our members and partner association leaders were joined by several parliamentarians, including the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, Randy Boissonnault, to discuss the industry’s critical needs. 

Throughout 2024, CCA will be increasing our advocacy efforts to ensure that infrastructure is not an afterthought, but rather the foundation of a stronger Canada. Collaborating with our partner associations from across Canada will continue to be a cornerstone of how we operate, maximizing our collective expertise, reach and connections to benefit the industry.

Throughout 2024, CCA will be increasing our advocacy efforts to ensure that infrastructure is not an afterthought, but rather the foundation of a stronger Canada.

Advancing a Canadian Trade Infrastructure Plan 

A core focus of our 2023 advocacy efforts involved the launch of the Canada Trade Infrastructure Plan (CTIP). Working with several industry partners, we are gaining traction in our pursuit of more investment in trade-enabling infrastructure across the country. 

Canada’s declining reputation as a global trade partner was a top concern at a meeting of premiers and territorial leaders last July, where the Council of the Federation unanimously endorsed CTIP’s proposals and requested a first minister’s meeting with the federal government to discuss the need for a strategic trade corridor infrastructure program. Saskatchewan is a leading exporter and stands to benefit from this strategy.

Workforce remains an urgent priority

We have laid a strong foundation with the federal government to rebuild Canada’s construction workforce through immigration programs and investing in the promotion of skilled trades. The Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship initiated a new process under the Express Entry program to welcome skilled newcomers with work experience in occupations considered a priority in Canada. Ten occupations in construction, including carpenters, plumbers, welders and electricians, are now included in the list of nearly 83 jobs.

The urgent need for skilled trade workers received nationwide attention through our partnership on the Canadian Apprenticeship Service (CAS). Within the first six months of the CAS program, millions in funds have been dispersed to eligible employers and 47 per cent of the apprentices self-identified as being from an equity-
deserving group. 

Fair procurement

We’ve moved the needle on improvements to procurement and project delivery by expanding our outreach to public owners and promoting the use of CCDC documents. CCA obtained a commitment from government leaders at its semi-annual Meech Lake meeting to establish a working group on procurement and project delivery methods. 

CCA’s Best Practices Services is delivering new resources, some of which are being developed through our National Advisory Councils’ work. We recently produced a two-part webinar series to guide our members on the implementation of the Federal Prompt Payment for Construction Work Act. You can also watch one of our past “Read Your Construction Contact” webinars or enroll in a CCDC Seminar to help guide you on the use and application of some of the new or soon-to-be released CCDC documents. We are also making contract management simpler and more transparent with our soon-to-be-launched contract management platform, SignaSur, to guide our members on the implementation of the Federal Prompt Payment for Construction Work Act

Stay in touch!

You can count on CCA to be a collaborative partner to SHCA, providing helpful tools, sharing best practices across the country and being your voice with the federal government.  

Stay in the loop by subscribing to CCA’s newsletter, following @ConstructionCAN on Twitter or by looking up the Canadian Construction Association on LinkedIn.