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Statement on Budget 2024 • Canada’s Building Trades Unions

National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada Statement • Canada's Building Trades Unions

Ottawa – Canada’s Building Trades Unions welcomes the introduction of Budget 2024 and the new measures introduced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland. Budget 2024 includes new funding for existing measures to support skilled trades, new supports for net-zero technology investments, and measures which will help address the exploitation of workers.

“This year’s budget took great strides to support Canada’s skilled trades workers. We were pleased to see stable funding for Canadian Apprenticeship Strategy, Sustainable Jobs Training Fund, and Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness Program, coupled with continued investments in nuclear development and net-zero technology investments. This will strengthen our workforce and ensure Canada has the support it needs as we forge ahead building new homes and transitioning our nation’s economy to a net-zero future.” says Sean Strickland, Executive Director of Canada’s Building Trades Unions

Budget 2024 saw continued investments in programs that support skilled trades apprentices, with $100 Million in funding for Employment and Social Development Canada, with $90 million allocated to the Canadian Apprenticeship Strategy and the $10 Million allocated to the Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness Program.

“Beyond new Investment Tax Credits and other measures, one potentially overlooked item in the budget that we are very excited to see is a new measure which will go towards ending the misclassification of workers, with new agreements between EDSC and CRA to provide the data and funding required for enforcement. This will help protect workers from misclassification, enable better enforcement, and bring workers out of the underground economy,” says Strickland.

Misclassification occurs when workers are styled as ‘independent contractors’ by unscrupulous employers to avoid payroll taxes and remittances to government programs, such as workplace safety insurance funds, employment insurance, and Canada Pension Plan. Misclassification of workers robs workers of their protections and exposes them to exploitation and contributes to the so-called ‘underground economy’.

“It may seem like a smaller measure in the budget, but we’ve been asking for progress on dealing with the underground economy, and misclassified workers for many years,” Continued Strickland, “We’re pleased to see the government start laying the groundwork in terms of the data and connections needed to make enforcement possible.”

Canada’s Building Trades Unions are also eager to engage with government on its national housing strategies, which the government indicated in Budget 2024 would include innovative measures to advance the pace at which housing is built in Canada. Canada’s Building Trades Unions are pleased to continue working with government towards solutions, through the Union-Led Advisory Table, and other mechanisms to ensure the voices of workers are heard through government policymaking.

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Media Contact

Canada’s Building Trades Unions

Nathan Carr, Public Affairs Manager

ncarr@buildingtrades.ca | 416-333-8732

About Canada’s Building Trades Unions

Canada’s Building Trades Unions are an alliance of 14 international unions in the construction, maintenance and fabrication industries that collectively represent over 600,000 skilled trades workers in Canada. Each year, our unions and our signatory contractor partners invest over $300 million in private sector money to fund and operate over 175 apprenticeship training and education facilities across Canada that produce the safest, most highly trained and productive skilled craft workers found anywhere in the world. Canada’s Building Trades Unions represent members who work in more than 60 different trades and occupations, and generate six per cent of Canada’s GDP. For more information, go to www.buildingtrades.ca.

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