Jan 22, 2021
On January 15th, the Prime Minister released new ministerial mandate letters that reflect the updated state of affairs as Canada moves through the COVID-19 pandemic. These mandate letters supplement the ones released on December 13th, 2019 and build on the government’s ambitions that were outlined in the fall Speech From the Throne and Fall Economic Statement.
In the letters the Prime Minister wrote: “Even as we continue to distribute vaccines across Canada, bold action continues to be required to fight this pandemic, save lives, support people and businesses throughout the remainder of this crisis and build back better. We need to work together to protect and create jobs, and to rebuild our country in a way that will create long-term competitiveness through clean growth.”
As the Prime Minister has previously stated, his government’s four main priorities continue to be: protecting public health; ensuring a strong economic recovery; promoting a cleaner environment; and standing up for fairness and equality. There was a strong emphasis on job creation and sustainability in the mandate letters to noteworthy ministers including Ministers Freeland, McKenna, and O’Regan.
Noteworthy commitments for the building trades in the mandate letters include:
- Creating over one million jobs, restoring employment to levels prior to the pandemic using a range of tools, including direct investments in the social sector and infrastructure, immediate training to quickly up-skill workers and incentives for employers to hire and retain workers.
- As part of Canada’s climate plan, conduct Canada’s first-ever national infrastructure assessment to help identify needs and priorities in the built environment, and undertake long-term planning toward a net-zero emissions future.
- Transform how we power our economy and communities, including by moving forward with investments in large-scale building retrofits and clean power. This will include advancing projects like the Atlantic Loop initiative that will connect surplus clean power to regions transitioning away from coal, and supporting investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage and next-generation clean energy and technology solutions, including in Indigenous communities.
- Close the infrastructure gap in Indigenous communities, particularly with respect to affordable housing.
- Bring forward and implement a plan to modernize the Employment Insurance (EI) system for the 21st Century. This should include a plan to make EI the primary delivery mechanism for employment benefits, including for the self-employed and those in the gig economy.
- Strengthen our partnership with our closest ally, the United States.
- Continue to address the opioid epidemic tearing through communities, which is an ongoing and worsening public health crisis.
- Support investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage and next-generation clean energy and technology solutions, including in Indigenous communities.
- Implement the Net-Zero Accelerator Fund in continuing to support our manufacturing, transportation, natural resource and energy sectors as they work to transform to meet a net-zero future, creating good-paying and long-lasting jobs.
The supplementary mandate letters can be read here.