Canada’s Building Trades Unions Pleased with Government of Canada’s Continued Commitment to People in 2019 Budget

Mar 19, 2019

Funding announced to promote skilled trades as first-choice career option key to addressing skills shortage 

Canada’s Building Trades Unions (CBTU) commends the Federal Government for their continued commitment to our priorities which include investing in people, showcasing skilled trades as a first-choice career, continued investment to address the on-going opioid crisis, willingness to work with communities affected by coal plant closure and the implementation of a National Pharmacare program.

“Canada’s Building Trades Unions are committed to making a career in the skilled trades open for everyone, which includes retraining for those already in the workforce, and encouraging and supporting young people to learn about the opportunities that exist in the trades.  With the support of the Federal Government, through a campaign to put skilled trades as a career option front and centre to young Canadians, it will fill a much-needed gap in awareness,” said Arlene Dunn, Director, Canada’s Building Trades Unions. “Funding to support workers who need to get retrained whilst protecting their income to support their families will open the door to workers who want to upgrade their skills and possibly pursue becoming an electrician or heavy equipment operator or a number of other professions in the construction industry where we need people.”

CBTU Highlights from the Federal Budget

Continued Commitment to Skilled Trades

  • A new “Canada Training Benefit”, $4.6 billion over five years, to support workers who need to pay for training, get income support and potentially get job protection while upgrading skills.

Education and Awareness of Skilled Trades as a First-Choice Career

  • The Federal Government has committed to a two-year campaign, with $6-million to promote a career in the skilled trades.

Just Transition for Canadian Coal Power Workers and Communities

  • $35 million over five years to address skills development of workers affected by the closing of coal plants; $150 million for priority projects in affected communities

Recommitment to addressing the Opioid Crisis

  • The Federal Government has committed $30.5 million over five years to respond to the Opioid Crisis.

A National Pharmacare Program

  • The budget promises a new agency to buy drugs in bulk and cut Canadian medication costs as a first step toward a national pharmacare plan.

Dunn went on to say, “Taking care of Canadians includes skills training, providing meaningful work opportunities and helping Canadians afflicted with an opioid addiction get the help they need, while looking at this as the bigger societal issue that it is and figuring out how to address it. The Government’s commitment to continued funding to address the opioid epidemic will work towards saving lives.”

The CBTU will put out a full analysis of the budget in the coming days, and is looking forward to continuing to work with the Federal Government to put Canadians first.