The Official Opposition is calling on the Higgs government to immediately consult with the construction industry and other stakeholders on the regulations for the application of new building code standards resulting from the adoption of the 2015 National Building Code.
“As the price of lumber is going through the roof, the government needs to take a second look at the regulations it implemented effective in January 2021,” said Eric Mallet, MLA for Shippagan-Lamèque-Miscou and Opposition Critic for the Department of Public Safety. “We have heard from industry representatives, carpenters and ordinary New Brunswickers who are renovating their homes that it’s getting really expensive to build new or renovate.”
“The secretive and hasty manner in which these regulations were adopted could be putting residential and other construction projects at risk and is adding significant cost to consumers,” added Mallet. “The new Code regulations were adopted and implemented without industry consultation or prior notice, and without the traditional phase-in period. This has resulted in confusion, unnecessary costs for industry and consumers. The trend continues as this government again demonstrates a complete lack of transparency and stakeholder engagement.”
The National Building Code is used by municipalities, building officials and builders to construct homes that meet the Government of Canada’s minimum structural safety and energy efficiency requirements. In previous Code adoptions, industry was consulted and offered a 90-day grace-period was granted to allow all sectors of industry to prepare. Industry has expressed its concerns to the Department of Public Safety and continues to wait for an appropriate response to its requests.
The majority of builders in New Brunswick are small business owners and collectively contribute some 2.1 billion dollars to the province’s economy annually, including 20,000 direct jobs. The residential construction industry has been considered an essential service during this pandemic and continues to generate billions of dollars for the province’s economy while facing many costly challenges. The Higgs government’s continued secrecy and lack of transparency is financially harming the residential construction industry and hundreds of small business owners throughout New Brunswick by adding unfair and unnecessary costs to residential construction projects.