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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 6, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta -Tvwinr, THf UTHMWOt HfRAlO IS Stronger Housing Trend Evident The volume ot construction In Canada is likely to pick up a little this winter after a year of slow capital spending and strikes, the Financial Post forecasts. Strongest growth in the last quarter is expected to be in housing. But the mild overall recovery will not be enough to make 1970 more than a standstill year for the industry. Further ahead, some eco- nomists believe there will be a construction upsurge in 1971. But the executives on the job are not holding their breath; it's a little early for hard op- timism yet. Construction Industry leaders expect total volume in Canada in 1970 to reach about million, up about four per cent from 1969. However, most of this inv crease will reflect price infla- tion. According to the Dominion Bureau of Statistics' midyear review of capital spending in- tentions, million is due to be spent on construction in 1970. This figure is million less than intentions in the DBS 1969 yearend review. Construction men point out that even the mid-year review is probably optimistic because it represents the results of a survey taken in May before strikes caused lengthy work stoppages in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Quebec. Don Chutter, general man- ager of the Canadian Construc- tion Association, be- iicves this year's shortfall of construction volume below ex- pectations will be about the same as 1969's. Hence the forecast of million total volume for 1970. The lengthy summer strikes are also the basis for hopes that volume will pick up a little this winter. Traditionally, the peak of construction activity in Canada is Sept. 1 and the low Feb. 1. In recent years, volume has been evening out. Now that this year's sMces arc passed, the industry is rolling up its sleeves to shift the backlog of work that has been created, H OCA expectations are cor- rect and there is little growth in physical volume this year, the induilUy will have had no growth for the years between 1966-1970, Yet the Economic Council of Canada has advocated 10 per cent growth of work volume a year to meet Canada's needs. Construction leaders argue that there must therefore be a big backlog of work building up. And it must eventually cause a strong surge in con- struction. W. A. Beckett, consulting economist, Toronto believes the upsurge will begin next year and last until 1973. Beckett told Canadian Transportation Commission re- cently there will be a sharp in- crease in business and govern- ment investment and housing construction next year but an- ti-inflation restraints will pre- vent a full-fledged building boom, Beckett said the spending In- crease will be due to backlogs, growing markets and increased demand for major consumer items such ae automobiles. This year, the greatest stwngth in construction lies hi parts of Canada already highly industrialized Southern On- tario, Alberta and British Co- lumbia. In some other areas con- struction has slumped heavily. The regional story is vividly told by changes in contract awards in first seven months (published by Etoutham Build- ing Atlantic Provinces down 30 per cent; Quebec down 10 per cent; Ontario down 6 per cent; Prairies down 28 per cent; British Columbia down 26 per cent. Contract awards are given before start of construction and are therefore usually a forward indicator of activity. However, if taken over a long period, they indicate levels of con- strucion during that period. Ontario now accounts for about one third of the total con- struction volume in Canada. The heavy fall in volume in British Columbia reflects three-month stoppage in provincial construction indus- try because of strikes among construction, gypsum and tug- boat workers. On the Prairies, the province worst hit is probably Saskat- chewan. In Regina, the value of building permits in the first eight months was down 48 per cent to million per- Only one apartment building was under construction in Re- gina recently. In contrast Lctti- bridge has three large apart- ments under construction, sev- eral smaller ones and more on the drawing boards, The outlook for residential construction improved in Aug- ust when the federal govern- ment announced it would pro- vide another million for housing mJUwu to be spent this year. The money will be used for high-ration (up to 95 per cent) loans at preferred interest rates for sponsors of controlled- low-rental housing projects. Ed Bartel Construction Builders of Homes of Elegance and Distinction Present-The Empress 1410 LAKEVIEW DR. Phone 328-1624 Split-Level Early American Styling 1 Featuring 1739 Sq. Ft. of Developed Living Area front drive garage, insulated and drywallec! with 9'x8' wood overhead door front treatment shutters hearth fireplace with walnuf panelling with natural gas log lighter closets in master bedroom to wall carpeting in all bedrooms on lower level features wall of teak panelling, suitable for family room Unnox furnace gal, glass lined hot water tank LOOK FOB THE HOMES WITH THE Located at 3310 BEAUVAIS PLACE On Display to the Public Daily 2-5 and 7-9 p.m. FURNITURE! and FLOOR COVERINGS SUPPLIED BY CAPJTQt jifctvj ;