Come on Toronto, Open Up Construction Competition!

New Research Shows Toronto Could Save $347 Million

Cash-strapped Toronto now has every reason to join all other municipalities in Ontario that are realizing major cost savings, by allowing all qualified contractors to bid on taxpayer-funded construction projects, according to the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA).

New research by Cardus, a non-partisan think tank, shows the City of Toronto could save $347 million, by doing away with restrictive procurement policies that only permit contractors affiliated with select unions to bid on and build Toronto public projects.

“Toronto has run out of excuses not to support opening up public projects to a competitive bidding process,” said Karen Renkema, Vice-President, Ontario at PCA. “It’s time the city tapped into the talents of many innovative contractors and workers who know how to provide good public value on construction work.”

The Cardus report, Better Choices for Toronto: Finding Money for Safety, Environment and Mental Health, shows savings from construction competition could cover the cost of many other city priorities from mental health supports to affordable housing and law enforcement.

“Toronto is the only municipality in Ontario that continues to restrict work on public projects to a select group of unions that needlessly escalate construction costs at taxpayers’ expense,” added Renkema. “We strongly urge Toronto Council to put public tax dollars to far better use, by endorsing a legislative change that would bring an end to costly and outdated procurement practises.”