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April 8, 2022

Federal Budget 2022

Federal Budget 2022 – Summary for ICI Construction

On April 7, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland introduced her government’s 2022 Budget. This Federal budget continues with significant deficits but not as severe as predicted last fall. Last fiscal year (ending March 31, 2022) concluded with a deficit of $113.8 billion, compared to pre-pandemic deficit levels averaging $16 billion (2017-19). The prediction is a deficit of $52.8 billion in the current year. Forward estimates to 2027 do not predict a balanced budget.

This budget was clearly focused on trying to address affordability issues in the home buyers market. Of the 50 times construction was mentioned in the budget, 75% of those mentions refer only to the residential sector.

With that said, there are some construction specific initiatives that will impact the Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional construction sector in Manitoba.  These include:

  • Labour Mobility Deduction for Tradespeople – Introduction of a Labour Mobility Deduction, which would provide tax recognition on up to $4,000 per year in eligible travel and temporary relocation expenses to eligible tradespersons and apprentices. This measure would apply to the 2022 and subsequent taxation years.

WCA Note: This is a positive initiative that will benefit tradespeople in the short term. This recognises the need for a mobile skills workforce.

  • Canada Green Building Strategy – $150 million over five years, starting 2022-23, to Natural Resources Canada to develop the Canada Green Buildings Strategy. The strategy will include initiatives to further drive building code reform; to accelerate the adoption and implementation of performance-based national building codes; to promote the use of lower carbon construction materials; and to increase the climate resilience of existing buildings.

WCA Note: This can be positive depending on how it’s rolled out and Manitoba’s adoption of relevant building codes

  • Deep Retrofit Accelerator Initiative – $200 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to Natural Resources Canada to create the Deep Retrofit Accelerator Initiative, which will provide support for retrofit audits and project management for large projects to accelerate the pace of deep retrofits in Canada, including a focus on low-income affordable housing.

WCA Note: This appears to be an initiative available to non-residential building owners to improve energy efficiency.  More details are needed to assess Manitoba Building owners, but this has potential.

  • Extend Construction deadline for ICIP Project – Budget 2022 also proposes to extend the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s construction deadline from October 2027 to October 2033. To support this extension, Budget 2022 proposes to adjust the program’s funding profile so that funding is available when needed. This extension recognizes delays caused by the pandemic, and will ensure that provinces and territories can fund priority projects.

WCA Note: Manitoba has moved from a late adopter of the ICIP program funds to nearly complete in a short amount of time. The Budget paper states Manitoba has 99% of ICIP funded committed. This is positive. Extending the construction timeframe is a recognition of the current construction environment where should supply chain delays are impacting project delivery timeframes.