Can we have a drum roll, please? The results are in and the Liberal party came away with another minority government.
It remains too soon to determine what this election will mean for the country. However, it was evident during the campaigning season that the skilled trades are an important part of Canada’s future. Infrastructure and housing are just two examples of hot topics discussed by party leaders during the lead-up to voting day.
Associations within the industry are looking to partner with the federal government on all things related to the skilled trades. “The Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada (MCAC) will continue to stress that our industry and association should be viewed as partners, particularly on issues related to the skilled trades, retrofits, and infrastructure investment,” reports Ken Lancastle, chief operating officer with MCAC. “Throughout the election, there was certainly a recognition from all parties that the skilled trades would be an essential piece to economic recovery. We look forward to furthering engagement with this government on those discussions while continuing to stress that long-term and predictable infrastructure investment provides confidence to the industry to invest in training and recruitment.”
The industry also recognizes that in the fight against climate change, the building trades play an important role in lowering the amount of carbon Canada produces. This might mean setting an agenda for the government to follow.
“To ensure we engage with government in all levels, we need to address specific issues, codes, standards and regulations that impact the operation of our members,” reports Rob Flipse, director of construction (B.C.) for Ainsworth Inc. and past chair of the board for the Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI), during the 2021 HRAI AGM. As mentioned prior, housing was a key talking point for party leaders during the election campaign. The Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) is calling on the government to address the housing issue by increasing the number of new homes being built across the country. “The dire lack of housing is a critical issue that must be addressed, or our recovery will stall. Red tape is presently delaying construction of much-needed new housing developments, and we are pleased that the Liberal housing plan includes a pledge to remove some of this unnecessary paperwork by providing tools to streamline the application and construction process as well as tackle nimbyism,” said Richard Lyall, president of RESCON.
There is an overall appreciation that this snap federal election is behind us and that the government can focus on economic recovery, which was largely due to the global pandemic.
“Investment in retrofits, particularly in plumbing and mechanical systems, insulation, heat sources and plumbing, will not only create well-paying jobs and stimulate the economy post-crisis, but it will also help Canada achieve its 2030 greenhouse gas emission targets through significant energy savings in retrofitted buildings and homes,” states Ralph Suppa, president and general manager of the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH). “It is a win-win situation for the government and industry.”
A total of 338 seats were up for grabs on Sept. 20 with 170 required to earn a majority government. The results of the 2021 federal election were as follows: Liberals with 158 seats, Conservatives with 119 seats, Bloc Québécois with 34 seats, NDP with 25 seats, and the Green Party with 2 seats.