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Federal budget sneak peek, Cedar LNG updates and SiteNews' next event

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Good morning! 🌞 Canada’s builders rarely take a day off, so many in the industry likely missed Monday’s dramatic eclipse. Don’t worry, there are many more to come (2026, 2027 and 2028). But for those not able to travel, the next one to cross our country will take place Aug. 23, 2044. The eclipse path runs through the Northwest Territories and Alberta, capturing both Edmonton and Calgary.

⏰ Today’s read: 7 minutes

market direction arrowTSX22,260.30
market direction arrowS&P5005,202.39
market direction arrowNasdaq18,100.19
market direction arrowDollar$0.74
market direction arrowOil$87.00
market direction arrowBitcoin$96,865.40

*Stock data as of last market close; currency, oil and crypto data as of 8:45 PM ET April 8th, 2024.

Economy: Despite facing economic challenges, Canada appears poised to sidestep a recession, according to analysis by Deloitte. The consulting firm is optimistic about a recovery from the current downturn by the latter part of the year, contingent upon robust growth in U.S. GDP, sustained demand driven by newcomers, a moderation in inflation, and potential interest rate cuts by the Bank of Canada. Deloitte anticipates that the central bank will initiate rate cuts starting in June. However, in the initial months of the year, the firm foresees household spending to be restrained due to the ongoing burden of high living expenses.


Spending preview: Budget priorities revealed

It’s no secret what Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have planned for the upcoming budget. He has spent the past few weeks spilling the beans on what kind of investments he plans to make in the construction sector.

Here is some of what is planned:

  • Creating a new $6 billion fund to speed up home construction and upgrade critical housing infrastructure (water, wastewater, stormwater, and solid waste infrastructure) and topping up the Housing Accelerator Fund with $400 million.

  • Boosting the Apartment Construction Loan Program with $15 billion to build at least 30,000 new apartments. The program would also feature extended loan terms, easier access to financing, include a “portfolio approach” to eligibility requirements and fast-track applications for proven builders.

  • Launching Canada Builds – a program that will partner with provinces and territories to build more rental housing across the country. It would be based on the BC Builds program. 

  • Launching a new $50 million Homebuilding Technology and Innovation Fund to support the scale-up, commercialization, and adoption of innovative housing technologies and materials.

  • Delivering $50 million to modernize and expedite home building through the regional development agencies. 

  • Launching a modernized Housing Design Catalogue to standardize up to 50 efficient, cost-effective, and liveable home blueprints. With $11.6 million in Budget 2024, this will include frames for modular homes, row housing, and fourplexes.

Strings attached: In many cases, these funds aren’t free. Trudeau has made it clear that to access the goodies, provinces and cities will have to embrace changes to their building codes, zoning, development charge policies and more. While this has drawn the ire of some leaders, particularly around densifying neighbourhoods, our cities need to evolve to serve aspiring homeowners, not just those already in the market. Reply to this email with your thoughts.


The week's headlines

Limberlost Place is an example of advanced Mass Timber construction on Ontario.

🌳 Ontario intends to amend its Building Code in the coming months to permit encapsulated mass timber construction up to 18 storeys. Officials say mass timber provides an opportunity to shift housing construction offsite and into factories, supporting more efficient and rapid construction.

🏗️ Cedar LNG, a planned floating LNG facility situated in Kitimat, has initiated early engineering and construction work subsequent to the establishment of numerous long-term sales agreements. This development signifies a pivotal step in securing financing prior to reaching a final investment determination anticipated by mid-2024.

📄 A report by the Royal Bank of Canada is urging officials to implement bold policy reforms to boost housing supply or affordability will reach even more alarming levels. The report called for action on speeding up project approvals and encouraging more people to enter the skilled trades.

🚅 The City of Edmonton has selected its preferred bidder to design and build Phase 1 of the Capital Line South Extension from Century Park to just north of Ellerslie Road—Capital Line Design-Builders, consisting of team members Ledcor and AECOM. The city will now enter into negotiations with Capital Line Design-Builders with the goal of awarding the contract by the end of May.


Overwhelmed? Krahn simplifies construction

With mazes of red tape and bureaucracy, construction has become an immensely complex endeavor. Dave Krahn, a veteran engineer and founder of Krahn Group says his firm provides a multi-disciplinary approach to architectural and engineering services for the development and construction industry. Learn more about the company’s unique approach and North American expansion in the link below.


Point of interest

Work is progressing on Kìwekì Point (formerly Nepean Point) in Ottawa, Ont. The National Capital Commission is redeveloping the site to create a modern park, in the heart of the Capital. The project features a curving, undulating canopy structure built from Alaskan Yellow Cedar frames pre-assembled into clusters of three and connected using thin laminated CLT top and back surface panels.


SiteNews is coming to Calgary

Want to rub shoulders with Canadian construction’s biggest movers and shakers? Pack your bags for the prairies. We want you to come celebrate the industry’s most influential people in beautiful Calgary, Alberta next month. SiteNews and our friends are hitting the town to toast the winners of our latest competition, Construction’s Most Influential People.

Where: Charbar, 618 Confluence Way SE, Calgary.

When: May 15, 2024.

How: Reply to this email for more info and stay tuned for announcements.


🏗 That’s just a taste of what happened this week. Unlock our FULL project update list, Project Pulse, by referring this newsletter twice (make sure to use your unique link at the bottom of the newsletter.)

Congrats! You have access to our extended list of weekly project updates. Check it out here 👉 Project Pulse


Crews at the 489-539 King Street West Project watch as the sun disappears.

PHOTOS: ☀️EllisDon crews in Toronto check out the eclipse

READ: 🏗️ Construction Month is in full swing in B.C.

READ: 🥳 Gordie Howe Bridge crews celebrate 2,000 days of construction 

VIDEO: 🌐 How a 660-metric-tonne steel ball protects Taiwan’s tallest skyscraper


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Here’s to a great rest of the week!