The unfortunate circumstances that brought us the COVID-19 pandemic made many businesses close their doors for good. Just like other countries, Ontario had to place many economic activities on hold to protect its citizens. The construction Industry experienced a severe halt, with new measures threatening to put a stop to multiple projects of importance. With that said, it is crucial to ask how the Ontario construction industry can stimulate economic recovery that will put the entire country back on its feet.
Some of the measures passed by the government to stimulate economic recovery in Ontario are as follows:
All three acts created a combination of measures necessary for Ontario's quick recovery. The idea was to provide a strong economic base through infrastructure improvements, strict rules that promote safety for any business that reopens, and finalize major transit projects.
Tradespeople have the power to drive the economic revival of Ontario
According to Ontario Construction News, the construction industry is so pivotal for Ontario's big comeback because it allows the province to bounce back by building structures that will strengthen the economy and increase the cash flow.
With over 500,000 people working as construction workers, welders, electricians and plumbers, the entire country would suffer a significant setback by leaving them out of work.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford spoke during the 63rd Convention of the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council and underlined the importance of construction workers for the Canadian economy.
"Now is the time to train young people, reskill workers, and inspire the next generation of tradespeople."
Ontario Premier | Doug Ford
To reference Premier Ford's keynote speech, completing significant projects is the right way to stimulate Ontario's economic recovery.
Projects that will drive the economic bounceback of Ontario
The government promised to pay living expenses for apprentices in the sum of $75 million. Furthermore, they are letting go of $10 million of debt towards loans for tools and funding Ontario Tools Grant with $600 for new apprentices.
The Greater Toronto Area is expecting four new subways worth $28.5 billion. Also, Phase 2 LRT expansion in Ottawa ($2 billion) and transit in Hamilton ($1 billion) are two major infrastructure projects.
The estimated value of renovating hospitals and schools and making significant improvements is around $29.5 billion.
Also, the next five years will be crucial for the renovation of old buildings and construction of new home centers, valued at $1.75 billion. Another important proposal includes the construction of the Rental Tower and Public Park for Toronto, which is currently being reported by DataBid. The largest project, however, includes broadband internet development, with a whopping $315 million.
With everything considered, it is clear how a pause in the construction industry would affect the country's economic development. For that reason, Ford's words hold the secret to the most effective strategy that will stimulate economic recovery.
Setbacks that may hinder Ontario's sprint to recovery
It is crucial to look at both sides of the coin. Even though the current state is quite stable at the moment, physical distancing and multiple safety measures dictate additional expenses and produce unexpected delays.
Since there is no way to tell how long the outbreak will last, it is not possible to know with certainty when the next blockade will happen. That is why it is crucial to tread lightly, piece by piece, without rushing into anything.
Plans for 2022
We discussed a lot about Ontario's long-term plans, reaching into the future for the next ten years. Now we will look at some more recent projects started by the Ministry of Transportation that will take place in the next two years.
The government granted a budget of $30 million to fund the Connecting Links program, replacing or repairing bridges and roads all over Ontario. Furthermore, over $4 billion was granted to support the Safe Restart Agreement, a project that will happen in multiple phases, completely rebuilding communities and increasing citizens' overall safety. The most crucial part is that public services like transient and shelters will still continue to run.
The impact of the increased flow of construction workers looking for a job in Ontario
More good news comes as an increased number of hardworking people that are unemployed are moving to Ontario and are looking for employment.
Will the number of people moving to Ontario looking for jobs affect the economy? Since so many businesses have closed, it is a question of whether the newcomers will be able to find employment or not. There's no reason to panic. Since the construction projects are still in place, there is a need for a large workforce that will put all the plans into fruition while staying within scheduled deadlines.
Let's do a quick summary to get a full picture of how the Ontario construction industry can stimulate economic recovery:
- Stimulus acts signed to provide a lot of confidence in the economic recovery
- Ontario Premier Doug Ford confirmed that the construction workforce will play a crucial role in the bounceback of the country, sharing information about the future projects in the next 5 to 10 years
- Considering the current COVID-19 outbreak, the future of the country's economy cannot be predicted with certainty. However, the current situation is stable and promising
- With the increase of tradespeople coming to Ontario, the plans in the next two years give us a brighter idea of how the economy is slowly getting back to its previous state.
Editor's note: This is, indeed, a confusing time for the construction industry. DataBid is working tirelessly to report and distill the news that can help you and your company make the right decisions and keep you up to date on the constant changes as they are made. We hope our coverage brings some clarity amid all the confusion.
Posted by Judy Lamelza