Budget 2017 addresses key issues raised by the engineering profession

OTTAWA, March 22, 2017 /CNW/ - Engineers Canada is pleased to see the federal government's commitment to green infrastructure, STEM education and skill-development, and the retention of women in the workforce, as laid out in Budget 2017.

"Bringing together investments in both the physical and social infrastructure of Canada lays a foundation for the country's next 150 years to be one where every Canadian has the opportunity to meaningfully contribute to a country built on opportunity, access and innovation," said Engineers Canada Interim CEO Stephanie Price, P.Eng., CAE.

Many of the issues that Engineers Canada has been raising with the federal government—such as adaptation and climate resilience, increasing diversity in the engineering profession and promoting STEM to young Canadians—can be seen in "Budget 2017: Building a Strong Middle Class." These include:

  • $21.9 billion investment in green infrastructure, including initiatives that will support the implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

  • $2 billion for a Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund to support national, provincial and municipal infrastructure required to deal with the effects of a changing climate.

  • $73 million over four years to create new co-op placements and work-integrated learning opportunities for post-secondary students enrolled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and business programs.

  • $10.8 million investment over five years, starting in 2017–18, to allow PromoScience to support more STEM learning activities for Canadian youth—in particular, underrepresented groups such as women and Indigenous peoples.

  • Allowing women to claim EI maternity benefits up to 12 weeks before their due date—expanded from the current standard of 8 weeks—if they so choose.

  • $7 billion investment to support and create more high-quality, affordable child care spaces across the country, including programs for Indigenous children living on- and off-reserve.

"We are encouraged to see that the government has recognized some of the challenges that women face in the workforce and that exacerbate the barriers that women face in the engineering profession," said Jeanette M. Southwood, M.A.Sc., FCAE, FEC, P.Eng., Engineers Canada's Vice-President, Strategy and Partnerships. "We are pleased to see Budget 2017's plans to address gender-based challenges by closing the gender wage gap, expanding maternity leave options and implementing flexible work arrangements for federally regulated employees."

Engineers Canada submitted budget recommendations to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance in August 2016. This pre-budget submission called for investment in climate vulnerability assessments for infrastructure, and funding for initiatives that improve access for women, newcomers and recent graduates to the engineering labour market. Read the full submission on Engineers Canada's website.

"Engineers Canada looks forward to continuing to engage with the federal government on these issues," Price added. "Canada's 290,000 professional engineers stand ready and willing to help the government achieve their goals."

Engineers Canada is the national organization of the 12 engineering regulators that license the country's 290,000 members of the profession. Together, we work to advance the profession in the public interest.


SOURCE Engineers Canada

For further information: Brent Gibson, Practice Lead, Communications, Engineers Canada, 613.232.2474 x234, brent.gibson@engineerscanada.ca


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