In late August, the Mechanical Insulation Industry, in part with the Mechanical Insulators LMCT, provided the Government of Canada with four budget recommendations, as the government prepares its 2021 budget.
As the Canadian government moves into the COVID-19 pandemic recovery phase in 2021, the LMCT believes energy efficiency should be a priority on infrastructure projects to stimulate this growing sector and advance Canada’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).
It is estimated buildings account for approximately 17 percent of Canada’s total GHGs. While the Government of Canada has invested in improving the energy efficiency of buildings to reduce their environmental footprint, more can be done, including a continued commitment to support training and equipment for the skilled trades, particularly those working to innovate within the green economy.
Supporting the Heat and Frost Insulators and their signatory contractors goes hand in hand with the government’s current commitments to reduce emissions while putting Canadians to work in the skilled trades of the green economy.
By expanding investments in training, with a focus on energy efficiency trades, the government can help build a skilled workforce ready to compete in tomorrow’s economy. This will help grow the middle class and train the future workforce, while improving the productivity and competitiveness of Canadian mechanical insulation industry.
As the Canadian economy begins to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the LMCT believes now is the time to maximize investment in energy efficiency, training and improved labour mobility to facilitate an effective and sustained recovery. This will improve the productivity, competitiveness and resilience of the Canadian economy and its labour force.
The Insulators LMCT budget recommendations to the Canadian government are:
- An immediate expansion of existing provincial energy efficiency programs through funding mechanisms such as the low-carbon fund, with a specific emphasis on deep energy retrofits, incentives for the industrial sector and zero-carbon heating and cooling systems. Energy waste is found in every region in Canada, making efficiency an economic stimulus to sustain job creation throughout the country and unite Canadians.
- Incentives for deep energy retrofits for commercial, industrial and large residential buildings by providing grants or tax incentives to facilitate free energy audits. The Insulators LMCT advocates for the promotion of energy efficiency audits in public and private sector buildings, with the goal of finding energy and cost saving opportunities.
- The government build upon the success of the Union Training and Innovation Program (UTIP) by expanding UTIP to a specific stream targeting union-led energy efficiency training. Through targeted and effective public policy and training programs, those who have lost their jobs can build new careers in energy efficiency, in areas such as energy auditing and expanding trades like mechanical insulation.
- The implementation of a Skilled Trades Workforce Mobility (STWM) program, to ensure it is economically feasible for construction workers to travel to areas where work is occurring and labour demand outstrips supply. The LMCT advocates for a Skilled Trades Workforce Mobility program (STWM) to increase the standard of living for many Canadians, addressing skill shortages and putting Canadians to work. It would increase job opportunities for skilled trades workers by supporting their ability to temporarily relocate to regions where jobs exist without creating financial hardships. This would also increase contractor and employer confidence through greater certainty in workforce supply without having to seek out temporary international labour.
The LMCT recommends these investments in mechanical insulation and skilled training to build on the success of the government’s existing program, with a new focus on the skilled trades in the energy efficiency sector.