Canadian Consulting Engineer

Election – Liberal win. What does it mean for construction?

October 20, 2015

With Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party coming into power in Ottawa, what are the prospects for the construction industry? What was promised?

In short, the Liberals promised more spending on infrastructure and transit, plus a new investment in building affordable housing.

The Association of Consulting Engineers Companies – Canada (ACEC) asked each of the parties where they stood on infrastructure investment in the days before the election. In response, the Liberals provided a detailed account of their intentions: click here.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities also had a short summary of the promises of the different politicial parties on its website in the run-up to the election. Highlights from the FCM’s pre-election “Policy Tracker” as regards the Liberals’ promises are as follows:


Invest $19.7 billion over 10 years in green infrastructure, including local water and wastewater, climate resilient infrastructure and clean energy.

Remove the P3 screen for the New Building Canada Fund and new infrastructure funds

Establish the Canadian Infrastructure Bank to provide low-cost financing to municipalities to build their infrastructure projects, and;

Issue Green Bonds to make green infrastructure projects more attractive to private investors.


Invest $19.7 billion to build and maintain transit infrastructure over 10 years on top of existing federal funding while ensuring flexibility in the program design details and eligibility criteria. Funding will support both new construction and a state of good repair for transit facilities.


Over 10 years, invest $19.7 billion in social infrastructure, including affordable housing and seniors’ facilities (including long-term care facilities), early learning and child care, shelters and transition houses, and cultural or recreational infrastructure.

Funding for social infrastructure will total $5.65 billion in the first four years to being at $1.675 billion in both 2016-2017.

Renew federal leadership in affordable housing, help build more housing units, refurbish existing ones, renew existing co-operative agreements, and provide operational funding support for municipalities.

Increase the new residential rental property rebate on the GST to 100 percent, eliminating all GST on new capital investments in affordable rental housing.

Direct the CMHC and the new Canada Infrastructure Bank to provide financing to support construction of new, affordable rental housing.

Inventory all available federal lands and buildings that could be repurposed, and make some of these available for affordable housing, in partnership with municipalities and other orders of government.

For more details, see the FCM website, click here.



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