Canadian Consulting Engineer

Throne Speech points to infrastructure, environmental tightening and small business

The Governor General of Canada, his Excellency the Rt. Hon. David Johnston, gave his Speech from the Throne on October 16 to open the second session of the 41st Parliament of Canada.

October 21, 2013   Canadian Consulting Engineer

The Governor General of Canada, his Excellency the Rt. Hon. David Johnston, gave his Speech from the Throne on October 16 to open the second session of the 41st Parliament of Canada.

The speech sets out the broad goals and initiatives that the government intends to act upon.

While the speech was generally received as being oriented to pleasing consumers, it did make points that could have an impact on consulting engineers.

Following are some points from the speech that relate to policies that could impact areas of potential construction activity, the environmental compliance of clients’ projects, or affect engineers’ businesses.

Jobs for Canadians

– “In a dynamic economy, workers must be able to use their skills, wherever in Canada they choose to work. Provincial borders should not be employment barriers. Our Government will work with provinces and territories to improve credential recognition and enable the free movement of skilled workers.”

– “The Government will soon complete negotiations on a comprehensive economic and trade agreement with the European Union. This agreement has the potential to create 80,000 new Canadian jobs.” [A few days later, on October 18, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and EU President Jose Manuel Barroso announced the agreement in Brussels.]

Infrastructure

– “For Canadian balancing the pressures of work and daily live, investment in our roads, bridges and transportation networks means less congestion, shorter commutes and more time with family. That’s why, in Economic Action Plan 2013, our Government launched the new Building Canada Plan, the largest long-term federal commitment to infrastructure in Canadian history. Over the next decade our Government will invest 70 billion dollars in federal, provincial, territorial and community infrastructure. Projects such as building subways in the Greater Toronto Area, replacing Montreal’s Champlain Bridge, building a new Windsor-Detroit crossing and constructing Vancouver’s Evergreen Line will create jobs across our country.”

Resource Development

“Our Government’s plan for responsible resource development includes measures to protect against spills and other risks to the environment and local communities. Our Government will:

– Enshrine the polluter-pay system into law;

– Set higher safety standards for companies operating offshore as well as those operating pipelines, and increase the required liability insurance.”

Safeguarding Families and Communities:

“Our Government will:

– Build on the successful Housing First approach and its renewed Homelessness Partnering Strategy to help house vulnerable Canadians;

– Protect Canada’s rich natural heritage by unveiling a new National Conservation Plan to further increase protected areas, focusing on stronger marine and coastal conservation;

– Work with communities, non-profit organizations, and businesses to create and protect more green space in our urban and suburban areas;

– Take further action to improve air quality nationwide;

– Build on its record as the first government to achieve an absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by working with provinces to reduce emissions from the oil and gas sectors while ensuring Canadian companies remain competitive….

– [Referring to recent disasters in Lac-Mégantic and Alberta] “Building resilience can mitigate the worst impacts of natural disasters and other emergencies before they happen. Our Government will work with provinces and territories to develop a National Disaster Mitigation Program, focused on reducing the impact of natural disasters.”

Small Business and Tourism:

– “Our Government will introduce legislation to enshrine the One-for-One Rule in law; for every new regulation added, one must be removed.

– The Canada Revenue Agency will cut additional red tape and help businesses navigate the tax system.”

To read the entire Speech from the Throne, click here.


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