April 20, 2021

THE BC BUILDING TRADES applauds the BC NDP government for investing in essential infrastructure, jobs and skills development.

Budget 2021 commits a record $26.4 billion to capital spending over three years. This investment in hospitals, housing, schools, roads, bridges and other infrastructure is projected to create more than 85,000 direct and indirect jobs during construction alone.

“These commitments directly and positively impact the thousands and thousands of construction workers who have dedicated their careers to building our province,” said Brynn Bourke, interim executive director of the BC Building Trades. “We are encouraged that even in a pandemic year, our government has delivered a budget that is prudent, optimistic and compassionate.”

Capital projects include the new Surrey hospital and cancer centre and new urgent and primary care centres across B.C. Meanwhile, the Cowichan District Hospital replacement – a four-year build under the Community Benefits Agreement – is expected to start construction in 2022.

The budget also forecasts a final decision on the scope, budget, delivery and schedule for a George Massey Crossing in Delta, planning for the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain, and Highway 1 widening from Langley to Abbotsford.

Capital projects need skilled workers. Bourke praised investments in skills training to support unemployed and under-employed people entering high-demand sectors such as construction.

“We have a shortage of skilled trades workers in B.C., and commitments like this that place more people in family-supporting, life-long careers will help manage that shortage.”

Total capital spending on schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, housing, hydro-electric projects and other infrastructure is expected to total $39.5 billion over the three-year fiscal plan.