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First Notice: Federal budget day in Canada

First Notice: Federal budget day in Canada


Watch for comprehensive DCN and JOC coverage of Budget 2021

This afternoon federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland delivers the first federal budget in two years, beginning her address at 4 p.m. EST. Watch for Daily Commercial News and Journal of Commerce coverage of construction sector priorities, among them:

∙ Stimulus and new infrastructure spending. Freeland has forecasted a stimulus package of between $70- to $100 billion over three years — will she deliver?

∙ Skills training and workforce development. How will the Liberal government ensure there are adequate skilled workers to carry out planned projects and replace retiring workers over the next 10 years?

∙ Resource development. What steps will the government take to restore investor confidence in major resource projects and streamline approvals?

∙ Pandemic support. How long can troubled businesses rely on such COVID-19 support programs as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS), the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), the HASCAP Loan and the Canada United Small Business Relief Fund Grant as the economy struggles toward recovery? Will there be enhancement of the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit?

CMHC reports hike in housing starts in March

Canada Mortgage and Housing reported this morning that the national trend in housing starts was 273,664 units in March 2021, up from 252,636 units in February 2021. That trend measure is a six-month moving average of the monthly seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) of housing starts. The standalone monthly SAAR of housing starts for all areas in Canada was 335,200 units in March, an increase of 21.6 per cent from 275,567 units in February. Multiple urban starts increased by 33.8 per cent to 222,358 units in March while single-detached urban starts increased by 3.6 per cent to 78,615 units.

Suncor pleads guilty to chemical release

Alberta’s provincial court has fined Suncor $100,000 for breaching a condition of an approval requiring that no unauthorized air effluent streams to the atmosphere be released. A valve was not closed in the coker unit during the steam drying phase on July 18, 2018 at the Edmonton Oil Refinery resulting in the release of hydrogen sulphide gas. Most of the penalty funds will go to a creative sentencing project with the Strathcona Community Hospital Foundation for the purchase of long-lasting respiratory support medical equipment.

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