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Canada’s prosperity depends on a strong mechanical contracting sector

Ken Lancastle
Canada’s prosperity depends on a strong mechanical contracting sector

If America runs on Dunkins, the Canadian economy runs on mechanical.

And the Canadian economy is at a crossroads.

Population growth, housing shortages, aging infrastructure and evolving industrial applications will require deliberate public- and private-sector investment across the country.

And while the level of this investment is significant, more attention needs to be directed to essential industries that will support these investments. This means a tactical and meaningful strategy to support the mechanical contracting sector.

Stated simply, all aspects of the Canadian economy and the day-to-day lives of Canadians are impacted by the systems built and serviced by mechanical contractors. If one were to look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, there is no way to move up in the hierarchy without mechanical contracting.

The challenge, however, is that this work is often taken for granted. Water turns on, temperature is controlled, sanitation systems function properly and natural resources are moved safely across the country. Without these systems, modern society loses its ability to function.

The Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada (MCAC) is meeting with Parliamentarians today (May 7) to raise awareness of this, and to highlight the significant contributions of Canada’s mechanical contracting sector to the economy and the day-to-day lives of Canadians.

Building more housing and infrastructure to help Canada’s rapidly growing population maintain —and improve — quality of life will create more demand than ever before for mechanical contractors’ services.

At the same time, new investments in advanced manufacturing like electric vehicle and battery plants and low-carbon power generation will need mechanical contractors from multiple disciplines to become reality.

On top of emerging industries, traditional industries also depend on mechanical contractors. Agricultural irrigation systems, hydraulics in machine shops and large-scale refrigeration in cold-chain logistics and grocery are just some examples. Additionally, mechanical contractors play a significant role in ensuring the safety and efficacy of Canada’s oil and gas production, distribution and export.

Even the shift to net-zero in the built environment cannot be realized without mechanical contractors, and the vital role the industry will play in reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from Canada’s building stock.

Canada needs a plan to support mechanical contracting firms and their workers so that our country can reach its full growth potential.

We need a plan that highlights the “infrastructure-critical” trades that are employed by Canada’s mechanical contractors.

And we need a plan that showcases just how important the mechanical contracting sector is to the livelihood and to economic prosperity of Canadians.

If the 21st century is ever going to belong to Canada, now is the time to invest strategically in the industries that support the Canadian economy. Growth is mechanical.

Ken Lancastle is the chief operating officer of the Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada. Send Industry Perspectives Op-Ed comments and column ideas to

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