Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

Building trades union to build $1.2 million monument to construction workers in Ottawa

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A monument to remember workers killed or injured on the job, a great idea. Comments from the union organization heading up the project that their members build pretty well everything in the country, not so great.

Well, another monument in Ottawa can’t hurt, I guess.

This new one, mired in red tape for the past five years but apparently going ahead next year, will be called the “Canadian Building Trades Monument.” It will be erected in Major’s Hill Park, Ottawa.

The instigators of this undoubtedly worthy project are the Canadian Building and Construction Trades Department, a 500,000-strong umbrella group representing 14 construction unions.

According to this article in the Ottawa Citizen, about the only publicity this project has received so far, “the monument will highlight the significance and impact of the construction industry in Canada. It will also serve as a focus to remember construction workers killed or injured on the job.”


The monument will cost between $1.2-million and $1.5-million. “But taxpayers can relax,” the article says. “Members of the Canadian Building and Construction Trades Department are footing 95 per cent of the bill.”

Here’s a pretty interesting quote, though, from Robert Blakeley, the union organization’s spokesperson: “Most people really don’t fathom that the entire stock of buildings – from the two-hole outhouse to the biggest projects on earth – are built by our members.”

Even two-hole outhouses are now being built by members of the Carpenter’s Union, the Laborer’s International Union of North America, the Teamsters, the Sheet Metal Workers, etc., etc.?

Who says the Ontario College of Trades has been a failure. That’s a pretty thorough takeover of the Canadian building industry by these 500,000 brothers and sisters. We imagine the one-hole outhouse market, apparently the last non-union projects left in Canada, probably need to be unionized next.



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