Sault residents have had it with government policies and politicians who waste public infrastructure dollars, according to a new provincial poll conducted by Forum Research. The poll shows 89% of residents believe elected officials should be doing more to ensure taxpayers are getting good value. As many as 85% of those surveyed in the Sault support scrapping a provincial policy that makes construction work up to 30% more expensive in Sault Ste. Marie, Toronto, Hamilton, the Region of Waterloo and at several public bodies including OPG and Hydro One.
“Sault taxpayers are telling us they’re frustrated with politicians and policies that waste money and are not working in the public’s best interest,” said Karen Renkema, spokesperson for the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA). “We commend Sault Council for its recent decision to take a closer look at how its tendering practices are driving up costs.”
The poll, commissioned by PCA also found:
· 78% of Sault taxpayers (84% of Ontarians) believe fairness for taxpayers and better value for infrastructure investments should be a priority in the next provincial election.
· 80% of those surveyed in the Sault (81% provincially) believe an Ontario government policy that prevents qualified local companies and workers from building municipal projects in their communities is unfair.
According to research by the Cardus think tank, municipal construction projects are 30% more costly in Sault Ste. Marie. That means that even by low estimates, the City could save at least $1 million on the $6.5 million renovation of the Sault Civic Centre.
The poll surveyed 1,094 Ontarians including 172 Sault residents last month. The poll has an accuracy level of +/-3.1%.
PCA is the voice of progressive unionized employers in Canada’s construction industry. PCA member companies are leaders in infrastructure construction across Canada, employing more than 25,000 skilled construction workers who are represented primarily by CLAC.