November 26 2018 Blog

The Low-Down on Construction – November 26, 2018

Construction and trades are tough jobs. Between the physical labour, on-site problem solving, staffing and the day-to-day operations of running your business your job is hard enough without the government tying your hands with red tape.

Consider this stark fact; Canada ranks 34th out of 35 OECD nations in length of time to obtain construction permits. On average contractors are waiting almost 250 days or more for permits. This is a huge delay, and more than 4x longer than places with the shortest times like Korea, or the United States. These delays are not only a drag on the construction industry as a whole, they are a huge liability for contractors who often have to carry costs through the permitting process, and they put smaller, local, independent contractors at a major disadvantage on larger projects.

While there are legitimate reasons to expect a certain amount of time from when an application is made to when permits are granted – reviewing plans for safety, and ensuring financial capacity to see projects through to completion for example – this process shouldn’t take an average of 8 months. All too often contractors have to navigate a seemingly endless maze of forms and bureaucracy that overlap and sometimes contradict each other instead of doing what they do best – build.

This is why MERIT supports the provincial government’s move to help streamline the process and remove some of the regulatory overlap and duplication that contributes to delays by switching to a “single window” service on procurement. We also support the government’s efforts to make the business climate more efficient through their Red Tape Reduction Committee.

MERIT Contractors will continue to stand up for our contractors and workers’ rights to earn a living in Saskatchewan. And we will continue to work with the government to help improve and streamline procurement, reducing red tape where it makes sense.