Education & Training
RESCON endorses Ontario budget that bolsters skilled trades
March 24, 2023 By Don Horne
The Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) is pleased that the provincial government has reiterated its commitment to building 1.5 million homes over the next decade and is taking additional much-needed steps to bolster the skilled trades.
RESCON also supports measures in the provincial budget to clear long-standing backlogs at the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT), request that the federal government provide HST relief for new housing projects, and move ahead with major infrastructure projects like Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass.
“Boosting our housing supply is critical to the economic well-being of Ontario and I was pleased to see that in spite of the strong headwinds we are facing the government is intent on meeting the 1.5-million target,” says RESCON president Richard Lyall. “With a massive skilled trades shortage looming, training the next generation of workers to build those houses is equally important. I applaud the government’s pledge to pump more money into the Skills Development Fund (SDF) and the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) to increase the number of skilled trades.”
The government will be investing an additional $75 million over the next three years in the SDF. It is also investing $25 million over three years in the OINP to attract more skilled workers, including those in the trades.
“The backlog of housing-related disputes at the Ontario Land Tribunal is also a concern of the residential building community and we applaud funds being set aside to streamline the process,” adds Lyall. “Meanwhile, we are pleased that Queen’s Park will ask the federal government to come to the table to discuss potential relief for new housing projects, something we have been requesting.”
The government will be investing $24 million over three years to clear backlogs at the OLT and Landlord and Tenant Board. The province will also be suggesting several ways the federal government could provide HST relief on new housing projects, including via rebates or exemptions. The move would help tackle the housing affordability issue by spurring construction of new rental units.
Meanwhile, RESCON is also glad to see the government is moving ahead with its blueprint to build more highways, particularly Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass, and more public transit, including the Ontario Line and Scarborough Subway extension. Such infrastructure is necessary to accommodate housing.
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