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____ Wednesday March 23, 2016 ____


Federal Budget

Construction Alliance Supports Infrastructure Budget

Toronto - The Trudeau government should be applauded for a long-term commitment to infrastructure investment announced in the 2016 federal budget, "Growing the Middle Class," says the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO).

The government plans to invest $120 billion in Canada's public infrastructure over 10 years. That includes $11.9 billion over the next two to five years, with $3.4 billion earmarked for public transit and intentions to ramp up spending. The federal government has positioned itself to boost municipalities across the country, inject some vigour into the national economy and tackle Canada's infrastructure deficit.

"Our labour-management construction alliance agrees that in this slow-growth, low-interest rate environment, investing in public infrastructure is the best way to stimulate our economy," says Andy Manahan, executive director of RCCAO.

In fact, independent research by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA) shows the economic benefits of public infrastructure through Ontario's 10-year plan: a $1-billion investment will result in $1.7 billion in provincial tax revenue and $1.6 billion for federal coffers with good capital spending.

"Our independent research has shown that public infrastructure investments have tremendous long-term economic benefits and are vital to improving our economic prospects, including wages," Manahan says.

In addition, RCCAO believes that the new Canadian Infrastructure Bank (CIB) will be a viable option to finance, evaluate and deliver the country's next wave of infrastructure investment and foster growth for Canada. RCCAO's most recent report is called "Creating an Effective Canadian Infrastructure Bank," written by Associate Prof. Matti Siemiatycki of the University of Toronto. "In light of the up-front infrastructure investment that was lower than expected, the CIB will take on a greater role," Manahan says.

Manahan also credits the Canadian Infrastructure Report Card, which looked at data from 120 municipalities surveyed across the country, for helping to guide the government with its decisions. "Good data is critical to making effective decisions for infrastructure investment, and this survey shows that municipal asset management needs a boost."

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