Skilled Labour Mobility

African-American woman working at construction site.

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Send this letter to your elected officials to show your support for Canada’s skilled trades workforce. #OnTheRoad

Dear Member of Parliament,

CC: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland, and Minister of Labour Seamus O’Regan

The construction industry is the backbone of the middle class – it’s an industry that builds Canada’s roads, bridges, buildings, and our future Net-Zero economy. But Canada’s skilled trades workers need support to continue to build a better Canada. In the construction industry, projects arise, are built, and completed in different locations at different times requiring a mobile skilled trades workforce to travel to where projects are happening. When expenses aren’t covered by an employer, skilled trades workers have to pay out-of-pocket for travel expenses – costs that can run into the thousands. When trying to support a family, the extra expenses make it too expensive to travel for work.

Currently, the Income Tax Act treats skilled trades workers unfairly. Salespeople, professionals, and Canadians in other industries can receive a tax deduction for the cost of their travel, meals, and accommodations. The same option is denied to skilled trades workers who work on jobsites in different regions or provinces from their primary residence. For example, someone selling rebar or conduit for the construction of a new building can travel and deduct from their income the cost of their travel, meals, accommodations, while the same option is unjustly denied to skilled workers who install the rebar and conduit. The Government of Canada has a responsibility to ensure a system of tax fairness is in place for all Canadians.

Skilled trades workers have continued to go to work, each and every day from the start of the pandemic. As the economy continues to rebound, the recovery will be uneven in different parts of the country and workers will need to travel for employment and to build our infrastructure. Skilled trades agree that a tax deduction will support them in getting to job opportunities with 75% of building trades workers saying a tax deduction will give them access to a greater number of job opportunities.

To put more Canadians to work, the time is now for the Government of Canada to stand up for our skilled trades workers and follow through on its election commitment to ensure fairness for skilled trades workers. It’s time to implement a skilled trades workforce mobility tax deduction.

Thank you,

SUPPORT A SKILLED TRADES WORKFORCE MOBILITY TAX DEDUCTION

Tell the Federal Government to follow through on their campaign commitment and implement a skilled trades workforce mobility tax deduction for out-of-pocket expenses when travelling for work.

As of the 2021 election, all three major federal parties have said they support tax fairness and a tax deduction to help Canada’s skilled trades workers. So let’s not waste time.

With the 44th Parliament now in session, write to your Member of Parliament asking them to support the implementation of legislation to make this change now.

THE ISSUE

Skilled trades workers have always had to travel for work – that’s why we’re called journeypeople. But sometimes the costs associated with having to travel for work make it impossible to go.  

Unlike many careers, jobs in the construction industry are cyclical meaning projects are built in different locations at different times, requiring skilled trades workers to travel away from home. When traveling, the costs of gas, accommodation and food – while supporting your family back home – can prove too expensive to go to work. Costs associated with traveling to where the work is, when not covered by an employer, should be tax deductible, and right now, they’re not. Read our brief here.

Addressing Unfairness in the Income Tax Act

Salespeople, professionals, and Canadians in other industries can receive a tax deduction for the cost of their travel, meals, and accommodations. The same option is denied to skilled trades workers who work on jobsites that are in different regions than their primary residence.

Introducing a tax deduction for skilled trades workers out-of-pocket expenses when travelling for work is about tax fairness.

Lessening Financial Burdens on Worker

While some project budgets allow for workers travel costs to be paid for – many do not and, instead, require workers to pay out-of-pocket, often costing them thousands of dollars. With families to support, temporary relocation costs can prove too burdensome for workers.

Supports for labour mobility, like a tax deduction, would remove the financial barrier for skilled trades workers to temporarily relocate or travel for work.

Savings for the Canadian Government

Increased labour mobility would take workers off of programs like EI, and instead, contribute to the Canadian economy through tax revenues from their employment.

A financial projection estimates that a skilled trades workforce mobility tax deduction would save the Federal Government an estimated $347 million dollars.

WHAT WORKERS WANT

75% of skilled trades workers agree that a tax deduction will give them access to a greater number of job opportunities.

70% of Building Trades workers have had to pay out of pocket work-related travel expenses.

75% of workers say work shortages are common where they live.

To put more Canadians to work, the time is now for the Government of Canada to stand up for our skilled trades workers and follow through on its election commitment. It’s time to implement a skilled trades workforce mobility tax deduction.

Send a letter today.

Read our members’ stories below.

Grants and Financial Support for Apprentices

Click here to view our document on provincial supports that are available for apprentices.

Canada’s Building Trades Mentorship Alliance
National Infrastructure Assessment Submission
Building a Stronger Canada Election 2021

Building Connections