Open Construction Tendering Legislation would impact local contract bidding

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Toronto (December 6, 2018) – The Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA) is applauding the Ontario government’s ‘Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act’ that will restore fairness to Ontario construction workers, employers and taxpayers and allow all municipalities in the province to maximize their infrastructure investments.

“This groundbreaking legislation is a giant step forward in treating taxpayers, workers and employers fairly,” said Sean Reid, Vice President and Regional Director, Ontario, for PCA. “Competitive bidding will ensure taxpayers are getting the best possible value on construction work and qualified contractors and workers are no longer shut out of the process.”

The Ford government is amending Ontario’s Labour Relations Act to allow all qualified companies to bid on publicly funded construction projects. Currently several municipalities and other public entities are treated as “construction employers” under the Act and required to contract their construction work to a particular union (or small group of unions) and select contractors at the exclusion of all other industry participants. Research shows this restrictive bidding process increases construction costs by between 20 to 30 percent.

Restrictive tendering is unfair to many local companies and workers by preventing them from bidding and working on local projects. Currently more than 83 percent of qualified companies, many of them local, are not eligible to bid on Region of Waterloo construction projects.

The same goes in other municipalities such as Hamilton and Sault Ste. Marie, where qualified local companies and workers are prevented from building local projects funded by their own tax dollars.

“Opening up construction competition is in the public interest,” added Reid. “It makes fairness and value on infrastructure investments a priority. Closing this legislative loophole is simply the right thing to do

Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (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. PCA promotes fair and open construction tendering in ALL Ontario municipalities.

 

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