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Fair Construction Campaign wants all Ontario municipalities to fairly and openly tender public works

The Fair Construction campaign says that some Ontario municipalities - including Toronto, Hamilton, Sault Ste. Marie, and the Region of Waterloo - greatly restrict who they can contract and hire on publically-funded construction projects. It's all because of the Labour Relations Act.


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May 20, 2015 by Steve Payne

Editor’s Note:  We’ve touched on this before, but here’s a press release, below, from the Fair Construction Campaign in Ontario. The Labour Relations Act (it’s not said here, but you can probably read between the lines on what’s going on) restricts who can bid on public construction projects in certain municipalities. Hard to see the logic in that cost-increasing policy, at a time when all governments are crying poor on infrastructure funds.

Toronto (May 19th, 2015) – The Fair Construction campaign has been joined by several high profile organizations in calling on the Ontario government to allow all municipalities to fairly and openly tender publically funded construction projects.

“We’re delighted that organizations across a range of sectors, share our concerns and our goal,” said Karen Renkema, Chair of the Fair Construction campaign. “By working together we hope to persuade the province that legislative change is needed.”

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and the Ontario Good Road Association (OGRA) are requesting the province close a loophole in Ontario’s Labour Relations Act, so that ALL municipalities are able to fairly and openly tender publically funded construction projects.

Currently a loophole in Ontario’s Labour Relations Act, has forced several municipalities including Toronto, Hamilton, Sault Ste. Marie, and the Region of Waterloo to restrict who they can contract and hire on publically funded construction projects. These restrictions prevent up to 70 percent of qualified companies and workers from competing for local projects, and drive up construction costs by as much as 20 to 30 percent.

“We’ll continue to galvanize support for legislative change,” added Renkema. “A procurement process that truly is open and competitive is fairer for companies and workers, allows municipalities to stretch their infrastructure dollars, and ensures that the public gets the best possible value. Everyone benefits.”

The Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA) is the voice of progressive unionized employers in Canada’s construction industry. Its member companies employ more than 25,000 skilled construction workers across Canada.