Wednesday, April 17, 2024
AdvocacyTraining and EducationWorkforce Initiatives

ACA Encouraged by Budget Direction

Today the Government of Alberta released Budget 2024 – A Responsible Plan for a Growing Province, while we are encouraged with the commitment to continuing funding of front-line services, ACA would hope that this will be met by continued capital investment. According to the Alberta Finance and Treasury Board “Alberta’s population is projected to surpass 5 million by 2027 and reach the 6 million mark by 2039.” That continued growth will come with challenges in meeting the growing infrastructure and labour demand.

“We are encouraged by the budget especially in the continuing investment in buildings, roads and people that are the backbone of our growing province,” said ACA Chair Jason Portas.

Capital Budget
ACA supports continued capital investment as an important measure to meeting our long-term goals. Investment in roadways, schools and medical needs remain strong in our province and continues to be something we call to be protected with adequate funding through the budget.

We appreciate the new funding for the Red Deer Hospital. However, we are disappointed that the Edmonton South hospital is not receiving additional funding at this time and hope that the delay will be brief.

We support further investments in LRT and roads for example the new funding for the Calgary Blue line and corridor roads in the north and the south. We note that the Capital plan has a $2 billion increase in this budget and another $3.8 billion announced for Capital Maintenance and Renewal.

Workforce Investment
ACA also supports the government’s investment in training programs and educational opportunities which will enhance the lives of young people looking to enter the workforce seeking a good, well-paid job. Our labour limitations will continue to be a problem for the foreseeable future, and it is necessary to prepare for continued shortfall of trained skilled trades people.

The government announced they would invest an additional $24 million per year over the next three years to create 3,200 apprenticeship seats at 11 post-secondary institutions across the province. The new investment would bring the total funding through the Apprenticeship Learning Grant for the 2024-25 academic year to $78 million.

Along with this funding $43 million set aside for NAIT trades and tech learning facilities will be welcome for skill trades people. We also support the government approach to finding new workers with the Alberta is Calling $5000 bonus for eligible workers moving to Alberta. Skilled trades workers will be eligible for the program when applications open in April.

Environment Investment
We support the government for building resiliency needed to deal with floods, fires, and other aspects of climate change. We also have long suggested a need for continued investment in building retrofits to help mitigate costs and reduce carbon emissions.

About ACA
The Alberta Construction Association speaks for over 2,200 member firms across the province, including general contractors, trade contractors, and suppliers to non-residential construction markets. Our membership features contractors of all sizes and labour affiliations. Ten associations with hundreds of contractors in their membership are associate members of ACA.