The Official Opposition is calling on the Higgs government to pause the implementation of regulations in the Building Codes Administration Act. The regulations were imposed on the construction industry, municipalities and consumers in January 2021 and were implemented without consultation, prior notice, or a traditional phase-in period. With construction season ramping-up the building industry and homeowners are being confronted with unanticipated regulatory burden and extra costs.
“This is another example of the Higgs government not consulting with stakeholders and making unilateral, uniformed decisions. Industry has always been a willing partner in developing and implementing National Building Code Standards – this time they were left out of the process and it is having major consequences in terms of added costs and time for construction projects slated to begin this spring,” said Roger Melanson, interim Leader of the Official Opposition.
In addition, the pandemic has proven to be an opportune time for homeowners to make improvements to their properties creating huge demand for lumber and driving the price up. The regulations also call for the use of certified stamped lumber for projects that prior to the implementation of the new rules could be constructed with wood milled by individuals or small local sawmills. As well the size of exempt buildings has been reduced from 600 square feet to 215 square feet.
“It’s not just industry that is being negatively affected. Homeowners, small local sawmills and lumber yards are being hit hard. The only real winners in this are the big box building centres who are already making huge profits as a result of the pandemic. We very much need a reset on the implementation of these new rules,” Melanson concluded.