Budget ’09

Details of the proposed federal budget  were announced yesterday and all those who seek labour market information should have been paying attention.

You can see all of the details here but I want to focus on a couple of areas that will be of interest if you work in education, construction or transportation.

$1.5 billion dollars worth of new funding was committed to worker training and retraining. A large chunk of this funding will flow indirectly to private and public schools who will be needing to hire new teaching and support staff.

And of course I couldn’t comment on this budget without bringing up the “I word” as the budget proposes $12 billion in new infrastructure spending over two years. I’ve selected a few highlights to list below.

  • $2 billion to repair, retrofit and expand facilities at post-secondary institutions.
  • 4-billion Infrastructure Stimulus Fund that will provide funding to renew infrastructure
  •  $1 billion over five years for the Green Infrastructure Fund to support projects such as sustainable energy.
  • $500 million over two years to build and renew community recreation facilities across Canada.
  • $500 million over the next two years for infrastructure projects in small communities.

Shovel ready projects

shovelWe recently decided that the word “infrastructure” would be our word for 2009. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities reports that should infrastructure spending be a component of next weeks federal budget, cities around the country have projects that are “shovel ready”. This will be of particular interest to our clients who are Civil Engineers or who work in the construction sector.

This table shows that the city of Victoria has a bus-stop improvement program ready to go which is worth over $4 million and could create 49 jobs. The District of Saanich has numerous projects listed.

Business as usual

With all the present economic uncertainty it might be safe to assume that governments will be scaling back their hiring plans. After all who wants to add to the workforce when government revenues are down. Apparently this is not the case as the provincial government in BC is planning to continue on recruiting and hiring workers. Demographic factors are having a larger impact than temporary economic conditions.

“Within the next seven years, we are expecting one in three current employees to retire,” says B.C. Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development Murray Coell. “Our HR strategy is very much shaped by the reality of the labour market over the next seven to 10 years, not in the short term.”

Source: Victoria Times Colonist