The Low-Down on Construction – May 8, 2019

The province’s court challenge of the federal carbon tax was narrowly rejected in a 3-2 split decision last week by the provincial court of appeal. The province has promised that this fight is not over and have announced their intention to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

MERIT will not try to predict the outcome of the province’s appeal; however, we applaud and support the province’s fight against this tax that will raise costs for our members and for individuals and organizations looking to build new projects.

Let’s be clear, climate change is a challenge facing governments and communities around the globe, and we at MERIT agree that we need a plan to meet the challenge. However, adding costs to our members and to millions of Canadians will have no effect.

Ongoing advancements in technology and techniques have lowered emissions from construction over the past few years – cleaner engines, improved battery power for various tools, newer and better materials.

However, trades and construction are still very reliant on conventional energy; many job sites do not have power, or it is insufficient for the needs of the project which means the requirement for generators and extra transportation costs. Some projects, particularly small residential jobs have smaller budgets and cannot afford the added costs from a carbon tax; some larger projects – especially publicly funded projects – would cost taxpayers more for little or no improvement to our carbon footprint.

MERIT stands with a growing list of trade and industry bodies opposed to this tax and we look forward to the Supreme Court of Canada making the right call for families, workers and employers.