Key bills still on docket as parliament adjourns for the holidays

Mechanical Insulators Labor Managment Cooperative Trust | LMCT | Government Affiars | Canada |  Key Bills Still On Docket As Parliament Adjourns For The Holidays

After an intense legislative session, it is officially a wrap on the fall sitting of the House of Commons. Parliamentarians will now head back to their respective ridings from coast to coast to ring in the holiday season.

During the last couple of weeks, sparks flew in parliament. While the government focused its efforts on attempting to get key pieces of legislation across the finish line, the Conservative Party used procedural tactics to slow down the parliamentary process while seeking a carbon tax exemption on all home-heating energy sources.

Two key bills tied up in the antics were Bill C-50, the Canadian Sustainable Jobs Act and Bill C-59, the Fall Economic Implementation Act.

As part of its ongoing commitment to transition Canada to a net-zero, low-carbon economy, Bill C-50 requires the federal government to publish an updated plan every five years (starting in 2025) that focuses on what is being done to create sustainable jobs and protect workers in the energy sector and to report on progress being made. The legislation also outlines the creation of the Sustainable Jobs Secretariat and the Sustainable Jobs Partnership Council, both of which will be crucial to establishing strong relationships with stakeholders, including Insulators.

The Insulators support the intent of Bill C-50, specifically as it relates to fostering job creation and economic opportunities as Canada looks to reach net-zero by 2050. When Bill C-50 eventually passes, Canada’s Insulators look forward to working with these bodies to demonstrate the growth opportunity for our skilled trade through the provision of energy efficiency solutions.

As for Bill C-59, the legislation will now proceed to the committee stage. The bill will be reviewed by members when parliament resumes at the end of January.

While there were no new investments specifically in energy efficiency, the Fall Economic Statement did include important labour and infrastructure initiatives. These measures include a roadmap for Investment Tax Credits that were introduced in Budget 2023, investments in affordable housing, the introduction of a 15-week shareable Employment Insurance adoption benefit and corresponding changes to the Employment Insurance Act and Canada Labour Code, and the intent to leverage private and institutional capital through the Canada Infrastructure Bank to support infrastructure projects.

The provisions related to the Investment Tax Credits (ITCs) in the Fall Economic Statement represent an important win for the skilled trades as they include requirements that those employers who benefit from this 30 percent tax credit must demonstrate they are paying prevailing wages, based on union compensation. They also include requirements that at least 10 percent of a given project’s work hours must be performed by registered apprentices.

As federal decision-makers turn their attention to crafting the next federal budget, the Insulators will continue to advocate for member priorities, while working collaboratively with the Government of Canada in the weeks and months ahead. Expanding investments in union-led training, with a focus on energy efficiency trades, will help train the future workforce while improving the productivity and competitiveness of Canadian industry. Insulators will also continue to push for a national asbestos strategy at the federal level while building on progress made working with the Government of Ontario.

Next year, 2024, will be another busy year for Insulator advocacy in Canada, and we look forward to sharing more updates on progress on key priorities.

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