The following are statements from Chris Gardner, ICBA President, on the BC Budget released Feb. 22, 2022:

  • This Budget ignores the stark reality faced by everyday British Columbians: life is less affordable than ever. We need a commitment from politicians to rein in spending, taxes, and red tape, and find ways to reduce the burden on job creators to make BC more competitive.
  • It simply takes too long to approve infrastructure – Canada ranks #64 in the world in the time it takes to approve a construction project. Since 2017, the Government has decided to tax and regulate our way to affordability, it’s not working.
  • While capital spending is at record highs, it is being artificially inflated by the BC Government’s reliance on CBAs which cuts 85% of construction workers out of projects.  This means on megaprojects like the Pattullo, Broadway subway, Cowichan hospital, and BCIT trades training centre, workers are denied opportunities and taxpayers are paying more. The Government needs to adopt a fair and open procurement system – every construction worker in BC deserves a fair shot at taxpayer-funded infrastructure.
  • Nothing in the budget accelerates the Massey Tunnel replacement or funds a new Taylor Bridge in the northeast.
  • Nothing in the budget will alleviate the chronic wait lists that workers face getting into apprenticeship courses – it shouldn’t take nearly a decade to earn a Red Seal designation in a construction trade.
  • Nothing in the budget will help businesses deal with the acute shortage of labour that is rippling through our economy.
  • $125 billion in debt by 2025 is a breathtaking number – there is simply no willingness by this Government to face the financial realities of this historic spending.