Budget 2023 Delivers Strong Winns for Building Trades Workers and Canada’s Net-Zero Economy

March 29, 2023 at 8:30 am  Business, Federal, Politics

Today, the Government of Canada released the 2023 Federal Budget that included strong investments to build Canada’s green economy and strengthened Canada’s response to the US Inflation Reduction Act, building on commitments first announced in the Fall Economic Statement. Executive Director of Canada’s Building Trades Unions, Sean Strickland, has released the following statement in response to the 2023 Federal Budget:

“Canada’s Building Trades Unions applaud the Federal Government’s clear commitment to growing the middle class and an economy that will help Canada meet our net-zero goals. The definition of Prevailing Wage outlined in the Budget is a huge win for workers – providing one of the strongest definitions we’ve ever had in Canada. Building on the supports for green technologies announced in the 2022 Fall Economic Statement, including the Investment Tax Credits for Clean Technology and Hydrogen – the Budget included expansions to the previous credits along with an Investment Tax Credit for Clean Electricity and for Clean Technology Manufacturing. Together, these credits put Canada on a more level playing field with those found in the United States Inflation Reduction Act. Tying these incentives to Prevailing Wage that includes union compensation, including benefits and pension contributions, will raise the standard of living for all workers, maximize benefits for the entire economy and create a legacy of good paying, middle-class jobs throughout this transition. The Budget included additional investments that will aid in the transition to sustainable energy, and these types of investments will create good, middle-class jobs including commitment to clean energy transmission through the Atlantic Loop, and further support for Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage.

This Government has shown they are listening to workers. From last year’s Budget that included the Labour Mobility Tax Deduction for Tradespeople, to this year doubling the Tradespeople Tool Deduction from $500 to $1000 – both measures directly impact a worker’s wallet. We are pleased with the demonstrated support of a worker’s right to join a union and collectively bargain, reinforced by the commitment to table amendments to the Canada Labour Code that will prohibit the use of replacement workers during a strike or lockout.

On behalf of our members and all workers in the construction industry, the Federal Budget delivers on a number of fronts and we look forward to continuing to work with the Government to build a net-zero economy that keeps workers at the forefront.”

Definition of Prevailing Wage outlined in Budget 2023:

The definition of prevailing wage would be based on union compensation, including benefits and pension contributions from the most recent, widely applicable multi-employer collective bargaining agreement, or corresponding project labour agreements, in the jurisdiction within which relevant labour is employed.

Additionally, at least ten per cent of the tradesperson hours worked must be performed by registered apprentices in the Red Seal trades. The government also intends to apply labour requirements related to the prevailing wage and hours worked by registered apprentices to the Investment Tax Credit for Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage, and the Investment Tax Credit for Clean Electricity. Further details will be provided at a later date.

In all cases, the requirements would apply to labour that is performed on or after October 1, 2023.

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