On this episode of The Construction Record Podcast, digital media editor Warren Frey speaks with Edmonton Construction Association president David Johnson about why he’s optimistic about the construction industry’s near-term prospects despite substantial headwinds.
Johnson recently wrote an opinion piece in The Canadian Business Quarterly detailing why he thinks the Canadian construction industry still has reason for optimism. Among the reasons he cited in our interview is while labour shortages in Alberta and across Canada remain a concern, the ECA and other construction associations are in “violent agreement” in addressing the issue through advocacy at all levels of government.
Johnson also said the industry has done a good job of advocating for improvements to the procurement process and transparency on the part of governments when initiating public infrastructure projects. He added his association and others are working to convince the federal government to revamp the points system currently used for immigration to Canada into something that addresses current conditions and concerns.
Warren also spoke with news editor Lindsey Cole for our Wednesday check-in on the latest Daily Commercial News and Journal of Commerce headlines, including the recent announcement during an unrelated press conference by Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster that opening dates for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT are expected to be released by the end of summer after much uncertainty surfaced earlier this year as a result of significant delays.
Lindsey also went into detail on the latest developments in the ongoing Greenbelt saga in Ontario as the fallout continues from a scathing report from the province’s auditor general.
In the west the Canadian Renewable Energy Association is worried a seven-month pause on new wind and solar projects in Alberta will cast a negative pall over the industry and undermine investor confidence, and in Winnipeg a developer intends to revamp Portage Place, a mixed-use shopping mall in the city’s downtown, into a campus that connects a health care centre, affordable and family housing, a full-size grocery store, neighbourhood services and urban green spaces.
You can listen to The Construction Record on the Daily Commercial News and Journal of Commerce websites as well as on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Amazon Music’s podcast section. Our previous episode’s interview with new Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA) president Jeannine Martin is here. Thanks for listening.