NEW YORK The Canadian government has announced a plan that will invest Canadian $53 billion ($52.8 billion) in the countrys infrastructure, marking "the largest and longest federal investment in provincial, territorial and municipal infrastructure projects in Canadian history," it said in a March 21 statement.
The infrastructure plan, called Building Canada, will provide Canadian municipalities with C$32 billion ($31.3 billion) for such projects as roads, public transit and recreational facilities and C$14 billion ($13.7 billion) for "major economic projects of national, regional and local significance across the country."
Canadas Department of Finance said in a statement that the plan "will ensure that Canadas public infrastructure is world-class and a contributor to job creation, economic growth and productivity for years to come."
News of the planned investment came just days after poor domestic infrastructure investment and a general need for repairs earned the United States public transportation infrastructure a D-plus grade from the American Society of Civil Engineers (amm.com, March 20).
The Canadian government also unveiled a job-skills training plan, which would provide C$15,000 ($14,657) or more per person to train employees, with C$5,000 ($4,886) provided by the federal government and that amount matched by the province or territory and the employer.
Steel sources in Canada have said that finding skilled labor has become increasingly difficult, and that the job grant could help employers and improve output.
"Theres a tight market for skilled (steel) people," said a rebar distributor in western Canada. "We have to bring them from overseas right now. Its tough to deal with."
The plan also includes C$1.4 billion ($1.37 billion) in tax relief for manufacturers and processors.