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Budget 2013 Puts Strong Focus on Skilled Trades and Infrastructure
March 21, 2013
Progressive Contractors Association of Canada ready to work with Government to maximize value for taxpayers and fairness for all industry participants

EDMONTON, March 21, 2013 /CNW/ - The Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA) was pleased to note that Budget 2013 placed a strong focus on skilled trades and infrastructure.

"The Government of Canada has clearly put a strong focus on skilled trades training and development in Budget 2013," said PCA Executive Director Paul de Jong. "We welcome the Government's particular focus on bringing under-represented groups into the trades, including young people, aboriginal Canadians and newcomers. These measures are further strengthened by the government's pledge to work with the provinces and territories to harmonize apprenticeship regulations."

The success of the Government's new initiatives will depend largely on openness and accessibility for all industry participants. The PCA looks forward to working with the Government to ensure that the new programs announced today will achieve the desired maximum benefit for all Canadians.

In addition to placing a considerable emphasis on addressing shortages in the skilled trades workforce, Budget 2013 contains a new 10-year funding commitment to federal, provincial and municipal infrastructure beginning in 2014.

"Budget 2013 shows the government is committed to ongoing infrastructure investment," said Sean Reid, PCA Director, Federal and Ontario. "PCA will remain a strong voice at the table to ensure that this infrastructure investment returns maximum value to taxpayers and that all qualified businesses and workers are permitted to compete for projects."

In Ontario, Manitoba and various other jurisdictions across Canada, federally-funded provincial and municipal construction projects experience cost inflation as high as 40% because of restrictive tendering practices. Construction labour monopolies systematically exclude otherwise qualified trades people and businesses from the opportunity to work, simply because of their particular labour union affiliation or lack thereof.

"Canadian workers and companies deserve equal access to publicly funded construction projects and Canadian taxpayers deserve to get the best value for money," said Sean Reid.

"PCA looks forward to our continued positive working relationship with the government to create a more responsive, open and competitive skills training system for Canadian workers," concluded Paul de Jong.

About PCA

The PCA is the voice of progressive unionized employers in Canada's construction industry. PCA member companies employ more than 25,000 skilled construction workers across Canada, represented primarily by the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC). Their member companies are responsible for 40% of energy and natural resource construction projects in British Columbia and in Alberta and are leaders in infrastructure construction across Canada.

SOURCE: Progressive Contractors Association of Canada

For further information:

Sean Reid
Director, Ontario and Federal
(289) 335-1181