🏠 New plan

Canada unveils full housing plan, brick wins big, Procore's tech trends

Together with

Good morning! 🚧 It was a reunion decades in the making. Construction workers in Penticton, B.C. were able to deliver a found wallet back to the owner's widow 60 years after it was lost on a roadway. Crews located the family after finding the name stamped into the wallet and an 'Arthur A. Voice Construction' credit card.

⏰ Today’s read: 5 minutes

market direction arrowTSX21,740.20
market direction arrowS&P5005,061.82
market direction arrowNasdaq17,706.83
market direction arrowDollar$0.72
market direction arrowOil$85.94
market direction arrowBitcoin$86,227.30

*Stock data as of last market close; currency, oil and crypto data as of 12:35 AM ET April 16th, 2024.

Economy: Economists and experts anticipate the federal government to hike taxes in the federal budget today to counterbalance over $38 billion in new spending announced since March, with about $21 billion directly impacting the budget. This excludes additional forthcoming budget measures. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has pledged to maintain this year's deficit, necessitating revenue increases amidst sluggish economic growth, avoiding recession but mandating fiscal adjustments to sustain new expenditures.


Trudeau’s plan: 3.87 million new homes by 2031

Ottawa’s housing announcement spree this month reached its crescendo with the release of Canada’s Housing Plan. The strategy aims to build 3.87 million new homes by 2031. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called it the most comprehensive and ambitious housing plan ever seen in Canada.

Three prongs: The government’s approach focuses on making construction cheaper and faster, making it easier to rent or own a home, and helping those who can’t afford to rent or own. 

Here’s what’s new: 

  • A Public Lands for Homes Plan to lead a national effort to build affordable housing on federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal lands across the country. The government plans to partner with homebuilders and housing providers to build homes on every possible site across the public portfolio. 

  • $90 million for the Apprenticeship Service, $10 million for the Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness program and $50 million in the Foreign Credential Recognition Program.

  • Plans to crack down on mortgage and real estate fraud, to restrict the purchase of single-family homes by large, corporate investors and to provide low-interest loans of up to $40,000 for secondary suites.

  • Expanding GST breaks to student residences built by public universities, public colleges and public school authorities.

Yes, but more: Some groups, like the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON), applauded the plan but called on officials to go further. Specifically, the group wants to fully exempt or rebate the collection of the HST to first-time buyers who purchase a new home. Presently, 31% of the cost of buying a new home is attributable to taxes, fees and levies.

Differing visions: Alberta and Ontario have pushed back against parts of the plan. Alberta premier Danielle Smith said she would take the government to court if it intends to make deals with municipalities directly without including the province. Ontario premier Doug Ford has also been critical of Trudeau’s approach, which officials say could jeopardize $5 billion in housing funds. 

Deja Vu: Remember 2017? The feds launched a 10-year national housing strategy. Since then, the primary rental market vacancy rate reached a new low of 1.5%, housing starts are forecast to decline and rent grew 8% just last year. Canada's population growth rate has also increased from 1.1% in 2017 to 3.2% in 2023, the same year we surpassed 40 million people. In fairness, no one could predict the COVID-19 pandemic, historic inflation or global conflicts that impact our supply chains. But we need to start moving the needle in the other direction.


The week's headlines

🚃 Plans for Surrey Langley SkyTrain have taken another step forward with the selection of a preferred proponent team to design and build eight new stations for the project, including cycling and walking paths around the new stations. This is the second of the project’s three contracts that now have a preferred proponent.

🏠 Last year saw construction begin on an unprecedented amount of homes in Metro Vancouver, surpassing 33,000—a surge of 28% compared to 2022. The data comes from the rennie landscape, a biannual publication examining the dynamics influencing the housing sector in Metro Vancouver, Kelowna, and Victoria.

💰 Federal officials are warning Ontario that it will not receive $5 billion in housing funds if it continues to oppose funding requirements, including allowing fourplexes. Ontario is currently working with its municipalities to present their case to Ottawa and strike a unique deal.  

🚧 Ontario and the federal government have come to an agreement to forgo a federal assessment of the province's Highway 413 project following a Federal Court ruling allowing it to be set aside. In a joint announcement on Monday, Ontario stated that both parties have committed to a cooperative approach to addressing and handling environmental concerns.


Brick by brick

The Ace Hotel Toronto, designed by Shim-Sutcliffe Architects, was one of 44 projects from around the globe recognized by the Brick Industry Association’s 2023 Brick in Architecture Awards. The building sits in Toronto’s Garment District and was designed to honour the role the red bricks played in forming the city’s visual identity.


Sask Polytech receives $25 million donation to assist with construction

Construction begins on Fredericton performing arts centre

Middlesboro Bridge in undergoes $14M overhaul

ThunderVolt roller-coaster to open in July

Toronto breaks ground on Etobicoke Municipal Hall

Ontario supports four Windsor-area plant expansions

🏗 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


Kris Lengieza, Procore’s first global construction evangelist. - Procore

Q&A: 💬 Procore’s global technology evangelist chats with SiteNews

READ: ✍🏼 Toddlers reflect on Cowichan Hospital site field trip

READ: 🐶 Alberta shop class students build lifesaving dog houses

WATCH: ⚾ Toronto Blue Jays give trades workers a special shout out

READ: 🏠 Are we addicted to high real estate prices? 


🔥 Check out all roles up for grabs right now at SiteNews Jobs or put your job post in front of tens of thousands of construction professionals here. Hurry up before our free trial ends!

Struggling to fill a role? send us an email at [email protected] to connect with one of our specialized recruitment experts.

Get your message and brand in front of Canada’s construction leaders and decision-makers by advertising in our newsletter. Learn how to partner with us here.

How did you enjoy this week's newsletter?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Here’s to a great rest of the week!