When it comes to construction and the provincial economy the updated budget lays out a careful path that should help keep both the sector and the province growing.
The government has to be congratulated for maintaining government and Crown Corporation capital spending over the next three years. The budget calls for $6.3 billion in spending in both 2013/14 and 2014/15 and then $6 billion in the following fiscal year.
In tight economic times government tend to abandon capital spending. After all, it’s easy to delay what are often large-price tag projects in the quest for balanced budgets. It’s easy but bad because the kind of capital infrastructure the government buys is the kind that is leveraged by wider society. It is the foundation of economic growth across the board. We made the same argument in our Construction Monitor from earlier this year.
Maintaining capital spending will also help the construction industry help the government with one of its ambitious goals – ramping up skills training in B.C. Companies only take on apprentices, and boost the training system, when they have projects to work on and jobs for young workers. Continued investments in capital projects will help the private sector boost training.
The revised Budget is helping build a better B.C. – and the construction industry is looking forward to being part of that.