B.C. Budget 2019: An Opportunity Wasted

(February 19, 2019) – The B.C. government continues to ramp up spending in Budget 2019 without providing good public value on its infrastructure investments, according to the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA), whose member companies employ thousands of B.C. construction workers.

“The Horgan government would have millions more for everything from hospitals and daycare programs to affordable housing if it put taxpayers first,” said Paul de Jong, President of the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA). “This government can’t be serious about making life more affordable for British Columbians until it puts a stop to construction monopolies that drive up public infrastructure costs by tens of millions of dollars.”

De Jong pointed out that the Horgan government’s CBA framework gives a monopoly to select traditional-unions (BTUs) on important public infrastructure projects and excludes non-union workers and progressive unions unless they join the BTUs.

“We’ve been very vocal that the province’s CBA framework violates workers’ rights and greatly increases costs,” added de Jong.  “It reduces the ability of the vast majority of B.C. construction companies to bid on projects, even though they employ 85 percent of B.C.’s skilled tradespeople. We are starting to see CBA language included on more projects, further compromising the stability of the construction industry in B.C. and adding huge, unnecessary costs to taxpayers.”

“It really is money well wasted.”

De Jong also expressed dismay that Budget 2019 does not include details on how to instill investor confidence, support resource development or make B.C. more competitive.

“Western Canadians should know by now that when it comes to investment, every hard-earned taxpayer dollar counts,” said de Jong.  “While B.C.’s economy is hot right now, that is not a guarantee for the future.  We should be taking advantage of the tremendous opportunities like TMX and further LNG development while there is still a chance.”

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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