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Stakeholders applaud new standalone housing ministry in Trudeau’s cabinet

DCN-JOC News Services
Stakeholders applaud new standalone housing ministry in Trudeau’s cabinet

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s new cabinet of the 44th Parliament was sworn in at Rideau Hall in Ottawa Oct. 26 and both the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) and the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) were pleased to see there is now a standalone ministry for housing.

The ministry will be led by Ahmed Hussen who was named minister of housing and diversity and inclusion. Housing was a key issue during the recent federal election campaign and commitments were made to significantly boost the number of new homes being built across the country as well as streamline and digitize the planning and development approvals process, states a RESCON release.

To solve the growing housing problem, RESCON is working on a housing summit to bring all levels of government to the table with industry leaders.

RCCAO says it is eager to work with cabinet to ensure that transit, transportation and water systems remain a priority for the federal government, but it is particularly looking forward to working with Dominic LeBlanc who is staying on as minister of intergovernmental affairs but also takes on the portfolios of infrastructure and communities.

“We worked with minister LeBlanc’s office in addressing the municipal funding crisis earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic and hope to continue that collaborative relationship, not only on that issue, but also on a host of other critical infrastructure matters,” said RCCAO executive director Nadia Todorova in a statement.

“As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, investments in critical infrastructure such as roads, highways, bridge rehabilitation and water and wastewater systems will create jobs and help boost our economic recovery.”

Canada’s Building Trade Unions (CBTU) issued a statement saying it looks forward to engaging cabinet ministers in portfolios that affect the skilled trades including LeBlanc; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland; Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan; Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion Carla Qualtrough; and Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson.

“Canada’s Building Trades Unions looks forward to working with new and veteran cabinet ministers on issues important to Building Trades members including the transitioning energy sector, support for skilled labour mobility, reforms to Employment Insurance, and supports for growing the skilled trades workforce,” said Sean Strickland, executive director of the CBTU.

“The construction industry plays a vital role in Canada’s economy, and will continue to work alongside the federal government and build on the robust investment into the skilled trades we have seen from them over the last six years.”

The Ontario General Contractors Association tweeted, “The OGCA congratulates the new incoming federal cabinet, including minister Seamus O’Regan as the new minister of labour and minister Dominic LeBlanc on the addition of infrastructure file to his portfolio.”

The Association of Consulting Engineering Companies (ACEC) – Canada also congratulated the ministers on Twitter and said they look forward to collaborating with them and their teams to ensure the country’s economic recovery.

“ACEC-Canada congratulates Chrystia Freeland on her continued cabinet roles as deputy prime minister and minister of finance. We look forward to our continued work with the minister and her team on ensuring economic growth and a strategic environmental and economic vision for Canada,” reads one of the tweets.

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