CPWA Ottawa Report

February 20, 2023

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The next edition of the Ottawa Report will be send March 13.


Second Public Review of Changes to the National Building Code Begins Soon

The second round of public consultations for changes to the National Building Code will begin on February 27, 2023, and end on April 27, 2023. Further details will be made available in the next edition of the CPWA Ottawa Report. The proposed changes focus on:
  • structural design (Part 9)—lateral loads
  • large farm buildings
  • building fire safety
  • fire protection
  • combustible construction—fire protection and safety
  • fire alarm and detection systems
  • encapsulated mass timber construction
  • spatial separation between buildings
  • accessibility—inclusive plumbing accommodation
  • environmental separation
  • spray-applied polyurethane insulation
  • drainage systems

CRTC Improving Pole Access for Better Broadband Competition

The CRTC is setting expedited timelines for large telephone companies to provide competitors with access to poles. Competitors seeking access to poles owned or controlled by large telephone companies will be able to roll out their broadband networks more quickly and efficiently, leading to more competition across Canada. Provincial and territorial governments are being encouraged to coordinate with telecommunications service providers and other stakeholders to facilitate network deployment.


Main and Supplementary Estimates Tabled in the House

On Wednesday, February 15, 2023, Treasury Board President the Hon. Mona Fortier tabled the 2022-23 Supplementary Estimates, and the 2023-24 Main Estimates. The Supplementary Estimates propose $4.7 billion in voted budgetary spending across 58 federal organizations. The Main Estimates provide information on approximately $433 billion in proposed spending for 129 organizations.

Upcoming Debates

The House rose on Friday, February 17, 2023, and will not sit again until Monday, March 6, 2023. When the House returns it will hold the following debates:

Committee Activities

Senate Committee Studying Impacts on Critical Infrastructure

The Senate Standing Committee on Transport and Communications has begun a study on “the impacts of climate change on critical infrastructure in the transportation and communications sectors.” Their first meeting on the study saw the Minister of Transport, the Hon. Omar Alghabra presenting, with a focus in particular on air travel disruptions.

Departmental Updates

Over $1 Million in Funding for Solar Panels on Municipal Building in Nova Scotia

On February 14, 2023, Mike Kelloway, Member of Parliament for Cape Breton–Canso, the Hon. Tory Rushton, Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables, and Vernon Pitts, Warden of the Municipality of the District of Guysborough, announced more than $1,098,477 in joint funding for the installation of solar panels on municipal buildings in Guysborough.

$1.7 Million in Funding for Community Buildings in Sault Ste. Marie

On February 13, 2023,Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie, and Errol Caldwell, Board Director for Mill Market Sault Ste. Marie (MMSSM), announced federal funding of over $1.7 million to revitalize two buildings located in downtown Sault Ste. Marie, transforming them into a public marketplace and community facility.

Improved Public Transit Funding in Pictou County

On February 11, 2023,the Hon. Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and Member of Parliament for Central Nova, the Hon. Tim Houston, Premier of Nova Scotia, Her Worship Nancy Dicks, Mayor of the Town of New Glasgow and Chairperson of the Pictou County Transit Authority and His Worship Danny MacGillivray, Mayor of the Town of Stellarton, announced joint funding of $593,931 for Pictou County Transit’s fixed-route transit system, which provides public transit service in New Glasgow and Stellarton, Nova Scotia. With this funding, the Pictou County Transit Authority will purchase two new buses and establish five new bus stops.

Active Transport Funding in Calgary

On February 10, 2023,the Hon. Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance and Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre; George Chahal, Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview; and Gian-Carlo Carrà, Deputy Mayor and Ward 9 Councillor for the City of Calgary, announced $4.9 million in joint funding for active transportation infrastructure improvementsalong 2.15 kilometer segments of the 14 Avenue S and 15 Avenue S corridors in Calgary’s Beltline. The project will focus on upgrading the existing painted bike lanes to build protected cycle tracks along 15 Avenue S between 12 Street SW and 1 Street SE. In addition, pedestrian infrastructure upgrades including curb extensions, marked crossings, lighting, and widened sidewalks, will be conducted along both corridors to improve accessibility for people of all ages and abilities.

On the Horizon

Upcoming Spring Budget

We will likely see the 2023 federal budget tabled during the sitting in March, although no date has been announced as of yet. Finance Minister the Hon. Chrystia Freeland has stated that the budget will prioritize spending on health care and the green energy transition. Indications are that the budget will in some ways seek to match incentive measures in the United States Inflation Reduction Act.