Letter to Mayor Tory – Jan 30, 2017

Mayor John Tory
City Hall, 2nd Floor
100 Queen St. W.
Toronto, ON
M5H 2N2

Jan. 30, 2017

Sent via email: mayor_tory@toronto.ca

Dear Mayor Tory,

With the Ontario government’s rejection of road tolls, we believe there’s another way to pay for transit projects in Toronto. By opening up bidding on construction work, the City could save millions of dollars annually that could go a long way in expanding public transit.

As you know, a loophole in the Ontario Labour Relations Act forces several municipalities, including Toronto to tender construction work to contractors affiliated with select unions only. Research by the Cardus think tank shows that restricting competition has inflated construction costs in Toronto by anywhere from 20 to 30 percent. Apply that to the $600 million worth of work that the City performs annually (and isn’t allowed to openly tender) and it translates into major savings.

As Toronto considers allowing the private sector to compete for garbage collection, why not apply the same principals to construction work? Greater competition in construction would mean even further savings.

Allowing all municipalities, including Toronto to openly tender construction work requires the Ontario government to amend the Ontario Labour Relation Act. It’s a small change that would make a big difference to Toronto and other municipalities.

Mayor Tory, we believe there’s no better time than now for Toronto to make this formal request to the Ontario government. By closing this labour law loophole, Toronto could maximize its infrastructure investments and ensure its taxpayers are getting the best possible value.


Paul de Jong
Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA)