A Conservative MP is calling for municipal, provincial and the federal governments to speed up the building permit process to help prevent the looming debt crisis.
Pierre Poilievre, an Ottawa MP, said quicker access to permits is one way to restore Canadian prosperity in the face of a $381-billion deficit, who spoke during Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce’s teleconference event Coffee Break with the MPs 2021 on Thursday morning.
“Every mayor, every premier and the federal government should have a combined goal that this should be the fastest place you get a building permit. Right now we rank 34th out of 35 OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) nations in the time it takes to get a building permit,” said Poilievre.
He said it takes 170 days longer in Canada to get a building permit than in the United States. Why would anyone wait longer to build a pipeline, business park, shopping centre, mine, house, or store?
“Money goes where it can get a quick return.
“We should put our heads together and quickly approve privately funded construction projects that create jobs and permanent income streams for our workers, our investors and our governments. This is how we will unleash the mighty force of our free enterprise system in order to avoid a debt crisis.”
Mayor Tara Veer, who attended the virtual event, responded that in Red Deer the average for a typical building permit is one week, and two weeks for a complex building permit.
“One of the keys to a quick turnaround is an application with complete information. Patio permits (in response to the pandemic pivots) are about 1-2 days,” she said in a message to participants.
Poilievre, who grew up in Calgary, said there are five leading indicators of a debt crisis, which is when government, or large parts of population, cannot make debt payments and leads to massive defaults: large increase in federal overall debt; increasing household debt; declining economic output; buying more from the rest of the world than a country sells; and rising real estate prices.
He said the Impact Assessment Act and the Oil Tanker Moratorium Act should both be repealed to allow for the construction of pipelines to export petroleum off the northwest coast of British Columbia to access world prices, and the approval for natural gas projects must be simplified.
Monopolies also need to be addressed, he said.
“We need to open our economy up with 35 per cent of industry in Canada protected against competition, whether it’s telecoms, postal, maple syrup, aviation, broadcasting, taxis, liquor and countless other examples of how we in this country protect privileged industrial groups against competition to the benefit of a small group and at the expense of consumers and workers.”