Construction leaders advocate for urgent policy changes to rebuild Canada’s construction workforce

Modernized immigration systems and updates to the Temporary Foreign Worker program are needed now to address Canada’s construction labour shortage

OTTAWA, November 14, 2022

The Canadian Construction Association’s annual “Hill Day” is planned for Tuesday, November 15, 2022. Representatives from the Canadian construction sector are calling on the federal government to make changes to modernize Canada’s immigration policy and update the Temporary Foreign Worker program in order to address the most severe labour shortage Canada has faced in more than 50 years.

While every province and sector of the Canadian economy is reeling from historically high job vacancy rates, the situation is especially acute for the construction sector.

The federal government has an ambitious growth plan – one that includes repairing, maintaining and retrofitting aging infrastructure while also building for future climate resilience. But even the best laid plans can be derailed without the workers we need to keep us on track. The construction industry is currently struggling to fill over 81,000 jobs nationwide. This means that essential projects – schools, hospitals, power generation, roads, bridges and trade corridors that connect our communities not only to each other, but also to the global marketplace – may be delayed or cancelled.

The recent announcement that Canada would seek to welcome up to 500,000 new immigrants annually by 2025 is a good start, but skills matching is essential.

Urgent action from the federal government includes:

  • Modernizing Canada’s immigration policy and point system to better recognize those with relevant skills and construction labourers.
  • Working with the provinces to ensure skills matching is properly funded and supported.
  • Updating the Temporary Foreign Worker program to allow seamless access for the construction industry.

“To build our better tomorrow, we need the builders. Skilled people cannot be created overnight, and we need them now. It is vital that we turn to immigration and temporary foreign labour to help alleviate the choke points created by the workforce shortage.”

Mary Van Buren, President, Canadian Construction Association

“Immigrants and newcomers have helped to build the Canada we have today. Policies that better utilize the skills and experience of immigrants and newcomers will help build the workforce we need to build the better Canada of tomorrow. We won’t get there without them.”

Brendan Nobes, Chair, Canadian Construction Association



Twitter: @ConstructionCAN
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Across Canada, CCA represents more than 20,000 member firms drawn from 63 local and provincial integrated partner associations. CCA gives voice to the public policy, legal and standards development goals of contractors, suppliers and allied business professionals working in, or with, Canada’s heavy civil, institutional, commercial and industrial construction industry.

The construction sector is one of Canada’s largest employers and a major contributor to the country’s economic success. The industry, 70 per cent of which is made up of small and medium enterprises, employs more than 1.4 million Canadians and contributes 7.5 per cent of Canada’s Gross Domestic Product.


Rodrigue Gilbert
613-236-9455, ext. 102

Keelan Green