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Engineers’ role in Canada’s long-term economic recovery post-COVID-19

Key Points

  • Engineers have played a crucial role in supporting frontline workers and communities across Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. They will undoubtedly also have an important role in the immediate, short-, and long-term economic recovery of Canada.
  • It is vital that the federal government consult licensed professionals, including engineers, as economic recovery plans are developed. Public safety is at risk when engineers are not involved in the development of legislation and regulations that affect engineering work.
  • The federal government should continue to invest in green infrastructure as a recovery strategy to help boost the economy post COVID-19. Investments in research and development (R&D) and innovation are also required to strengthen Canada’s economic competitiveness.
  • The federal government needs to kick-start the economy through the acceleration of projects promised in the Investing in Canada Plan and other federal-provincial legacy programs from recent years into the next two or three years.

Background

As governments grapple with an unprecedented global health crisis, it is undeniable that the federal government has started to focus its attention towards rebuilding Canada’s economy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, engineers have played a crucial role in supporting frontline workers and communities across Canada. Engineers possess the skillset for innovative solutions to flourish in complex global situations, such as the design of personal protective equipment or the development of diagnostic tools to effectively screen large populations. Engineers will undoubtedly play an important role in the immediate, short-, and long-term economic recovery of Canada.

With public infrastructure and technological advancements being a cornerstone of effective economic stimulus in the coming months, it becomes vital that the federal government consult with licensed professionals, including engineers, as economic recovery plans are developed. Public safety will be at risk if engineers are not involved in the development and implementation of a wide range of legislation and regulations in the coming months.

It is important that the federal government kick-start the economy through the acceleration of projects promised in the Investing in Canada Plan and other federal-provincial legacy programs from recent years into the next two or three years. By accelerating project approvals, jobs will be created, and the economy will continue to be supported.

The federal government must also invest in research and development (R&D) and innovation in Canada. The technology sector is a key driver of Canada’s economic competitiveness on the global stage and will form an important part of Canada’s recovery post COVID-19. Engineers are at the forefront of many technology companies and are key drivers of innovation.

Finally, Engineers Canada strongly encourages the federal government to continue to invest in green infrastructure as a recovery strategy to both benefit the economy post-COVID-19, as well as deliver on Canada’s climate commitments. Investing in green infrastructure has proven to offer both high economic returns and a positive climate impact.

Next Steps

  • The House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology (INDU) launched a study on the Canadian response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, Engineers Canada submitted its final recommendations to the standing committee.
  • Engineers Canada will create a National Position Statement regarding the role of the engineering profession in Canada’s long-term economic recovery post COVID-19.