In this special episode of the Construction Record podcast, Daily Commercial News and Journal of Commerce national managing editor Vince Versace speaks with Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO) executive director Nadia Todorova and chair Peter Smith about the upcoming Ontario budget due March 24.
Topics covered in the pre-budget chat include a dip in infrastructure tenders, the growing revenue deficit for major metropolitan transit systems and stresses on construction employment as the economy was battered by COVID-19 over the previous year.
Smith said contractors with large backlogs by summer 2020 were in good shape but those looking for projects were “starting to get nervous” with many bids on public projects that normally wouldn’t attract such interest. Those working on long-term projects have less to worry about but other contractors may feel “stranded,” he said.
Smith pointed out that during the 2008-09 financial crisis, the federal government stepped up with infrastructure funding but many municipalities didn’t have a priority list. The problem now, he said, is that municipalities know what the priority projects are but they don’t have the funding to execute on them.
Todorova said the funding doesn’t have to be immediate but assurances it will be available will be a strong sign to the industry that the construction season won’t be lost.
Make sure to check out our coverage of the Ontario budget on March 24 and tune into our weekly quick-hit podcast TCR Express every Wednesday. You can listen to the Construction Record on Apple, Spotify and Amazon Music and you can follow us on Twitter.
DCN-JOC News Services