VAUGHAN, ONT. — The Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) is encouraging provincial and federal governments to collaborate on a Safe Restart Agreement 2.0 early this year and warning that the absence of an agreement could put construction jobs and the economic recovery of the province at risk.
In a pre-budget document submitted to Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy, the RCCAO maintains that a second round of funding for 2021, or Safe Restart Agreement 2.0, is urgent as municipalities are again facing significant deficits this year due to COVID-19, indicates a release.
If financial assistance is not made available soon, municipalities will have to cancel state-of-good-repair projects to keep their books balanced in 2021 which could have negative consequences for the industry and the economy. For example, the release states, the City of Toronto will have to use $800 million of capital funds to cover its 2021 deficit if a new deal is not reached.
According to a report commissioned by RCCAO, 41,000 construction-related jobs are at risk if permits continue to decline.
“This is a very urgent matter as failure to come up with a deal will result in massive job losses, deteriorating infrastructure and stall any possibility of an economic recovery,” said RCCAO board chair Peter Smith in a statement. “Governments must once again work together to enable funds to flow and ensure that municipalities don’t have to raid their capital budgets to pay for COVID-19-related operating expenses.”