Industry Calls On All Levels of Government to Make Major Investment in Infrastructure

    Joint Construction Industry Group Stresses That Now is the Right Time for
    Immediate and Long-Term Spending on Infrastructure

    TORONTO, Jan. 19 /CNW/ - Over 60 representatives from a wide
cross-section of labour and construction management organizations are calling
on all levels of government to act now and make a substantial investment in
infrastructure to help stimulate the economy. The industry group, who gathered
last Friday, is stressing that the timing is ideal for government to invest in
infrastructure to generate economic growth and job creation while building
core assets that will serve Ontarians for decades to come.
    Representatives from the group will be meeting with Ontario Finance
Minister Dwight Duncan today to discuss their recommended action plan. They
will also be forwarding their Vision Statement (attached) and priority program
to the Federal Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty.
    "Increased infrastructure investment is the most beneficial action
governments can take to spur the economy," says Andy Manahan, Executive
Director of the RCCAO. "Ultimately, the construction industry can lead Ontario
out of this recession with government investment. Rationalization of the
regulatory regime must be accomplished in order to achieve the goal of
fast-tracking priority infrastructure projects."
    Construction investments - roads, water and sewer infrastructure,
bridges, transit and housing, among others - have historically generated large
multiplier effects beyond direct job creation. There are many reasons why
spending money on short-term and long-term infrastructure projects is crucial
during turbulent economic times, such as:

    -   Increasing employment opportunities
    -   Promoting local sourcing of materials relative to other investments
    -   Constructing core infrastructure is key to enhancing productivity
        growth and attracting foreign investment
    -   Fostering green targets, including more energy efficient communities
        and buildings
    -   Creating opportunities for further innovation in technology,
        materials and systems

    Once government commitments have been made, the industry as a whole will
be ready to work in partnership with all levels of government to do its part
in reviving the economy during this challenging time.
    The unprecedented gathering of such a wide range of construction and
infrastructure organizations reflects the broad consensus that industry can
respond immediately to government's readiness to ramp up infrastructure
    "If governments remain steadfast in their commitment to jump start
infrastructure investments now, then the construction sector can deliver,"
adds Michael O'Brien of Local 183. "Infrastructure investment in Ontario, and
Canada for that matter, has been falling behind over many decades. There are
real opportunities, right now, for the government to take positive steps by
replacing, renewing and expanding the basic backbone of a civilized society -
a workable infrastructure."

For further information:

For further information: Dorenda McNeil - Counsel Public Relations, Tel:
(416) 961-5898 x 216,

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