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B.C. Supreme Court Clears Way for Challenge of Horgan Government’s Lopsided Labour Rules

Vancouver (July 23, 2019) – Today’s decision by the B.C. Supreme Court is a major step forward in the effort to protect the rights of the majority of the province’s construction workers, according to the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA) whose member companies employ thousands of construction workers across B.C.

The B.C. Supreme Court has cleared the way for PCA and others to proceed with their challenge of the Horgan government’s “Building Trades Only” requirement for building public projects.

“We’re delighted that our concerns have been taken seriously enough to be heard by the province’s highest court,” said Paul de Jong, President of the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA). “Forcing 85 percent of B.C.’s construction workforce to join a union of the government’s choice is not only unconstitutional, it’s just plain wrong.”

It was one year ago, that the Horgan government announced new infrastructure rules that force the province’s construction workers to join the Building Trades Unions (BTUs) in order to work on public projects, even though the BTUs constitute just 15 percent of B.C.’s construction workforce. The same rules are also driving up public infrastructure costs by millions of dollars.

“If Premier Horgan is sincere about helping communities and training underrepresented groups, he should go back to square one and come up with a labour model that benefits all British Columbians, not just his buddies in select Building Trades Unions,” added de Jong.

Last summer, PCA launched its #MoneyWellWasted campaign to help draw attention to the rising public costs and unfairness of the NDP government’s rules for building public infrastructure. PCA also joined a coalition of like-minded organizations that are challenging those rules in court.

About the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA)

With offices in BC, Alberta and Ontario, PCA is the voice of progressive unionized employers in Canada’s construction industry. Our member companies are responsible for 40 percent of energy and natural resource construction projects in British Columbia and Alberta and are leaders in infrastructure construction across Canada. PCA member companies employ more than 25,000 skilled construction workers in Canada, represented primarily by CLAC.

For further information, contact: Danna O’Brien, Danna@obriencommunications.ca 416-500-0699

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