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Ontario needs more funds to save 41,000 jobs

RCCAO report states more money is needed from federal and provincial governments for municipalities to balance their budgets

Dominic Ellis
|Nov 23|magazine4 min read

Around 41,000 industry jobs are at risk in Canada's Ontario region and more funds must be released to municipalities to ensure they can balance the books, according to a report by Prism Economics and Analysis for Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO).

The report, Averting a Crisis: The Need to Protect Ontario’s Infrastructure Investments, adds Ontario’s infrastructure assets would also deteriorate because of deferrals, coming on the back of a 35 percent drop in government and institutional building permits.

“We recognise that the federal government has put historic amounts of money on the table and the province has been working collaboratively with municipalities to quickly administer the process to get those funds out,” says RCCAO board chair Peter Smith. 

“However, despite the Herculean effort of the governments, municipalities are still projecting significant deficits for 2021 and will have no choice but to continue to raid their capital funds in order to balance their budgets.

“This will further delay much-needed infrastructure projects and it will also be too late to fix the problem for the 2021 construction season. Municipalities need a commitment before the end of this year that they will have the support they need to balance their budgets.”

Prism estimates that a significant proportion of the total 117,000 construction-related jobs in Ontario could be at risk if municipalities, universities and colleges, school boards and hospitals continue to defer or cancel infrastructure investments. 

Due to declining municipal revenues brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, municipalities are holding back spending on many infrastructure projects.

RCCAO report
Construction Global magazine