BTY: Infrastructure investment to steady construction industry despite lower oil, commodity prices

bty report

Major infrastructure investment will help steady the industry in Canada in the new environment of low oil and low commodity prices, and a lower-value loonie.

Overall, the industry will adapt to reduced investment in oil and gas and lower economic expectations, according to BTY’s annual Market Intelligence Report on construction costs across Canada.

The anticipated uptick in activity driven by planned federal, provincial and municipal infrastructure investment will help bolster workloads and foster healthy competition in the marketplace. There should also be increased demand for skilled trades, due in part to a large number of retiring workers, but this will vary by region and sector.

“The Canadian construction industry has demonstrated time and again its ability to adapt to shifts in demand from sector to sector,” said BTY managing partner Joe Rekab in a news release.

“We see multiple large transportation and energy projects offsetting the oil and gas downturn and the long anticipated slowing in the residential sector. The message is slow but steady growth.”

Ontario will see sustained, substantial horizontal and vertical infrastructure spending coupled with healthy residential and commercial construction. Alberta and Saskatchewan have committed to sizeable increases in infrastructure investment to offset sharply reduced activity in the oil and gas sector, while BC’s strong residential and commercial sectors will maintain momentum as mega-projects in hydro, natural gas and airport and port infrastructure get underway. Quebec will also see continuing investment in major transportation and healthcare infrastructure as well as multibillion-dollar mining and energy projects.

In the U.S., new legislation for longer-term federal spending commitments and programs for supporting P3 procurement for transportation and wastewater treatment plants promises to prime the pump for continued P3 growth. Internationally, the use of P3 procurement for infrastructure projects also continues to expand, with activity shifting from mature markets across Europe to emerging markets in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia.

BTY has been publishing its annual industry review of construction cost forecasts across Canada since 2003.
A full copy of the report can be accessed on BTY’s website at


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