CBTU is campaigning to have the federal government introduce a Construction Mobility Tax Credit—a personal tax exemption on expenses construction workers typically incur when they temporarily relocate for work.
Flexibility and mobility are common requirements of the construction workforce: employment ends when projects are complete, and construction workers often find the next available job is in another region or even another province. Workers often leave their homes and families to take on temporary contracts elsewhere.
Because of strong investment in the resources sector, some parts of Canada—often rural and northern regions—are desperate for skilled construction workers, while others have more workers than they can employ. The tax credit would make it easier for Canadian workers to go to where the work is.
Studies for the Construction Sector Council and CBTU show that:
- The cost of temporary relocation is one of the biggest impediments to mobility.
- 70 percent of surveyed tradespeople travel for work at least once in their careers.
- On average, workers spend about $3,500 of their own money to relocate temporarily.
- Employers rarely reimburse workers for these costs.
- The construction mobility tax credit would increase long-term income tax revenues and reduce dependence on costly social programs.
- Initial studies show that the credit could yield a return on investment of nearly 5:1.
Parliament has had two opportunities to consider the Construction Mobility Tax Credit; it was introduced in a Private Member’s Bill in 2006 and again in 2013. The New Democratic and Liberal parties favour the tax credit, while Progressive Conservatives oppose it.