It’s About Time Toronto Supported Construction Competition

Toronto Council and all candidates running for mayor, should follow councillor and mayoral candidate Brad Bradford’s lead in supporting construction competition on City of Toronto construction work, according to the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA).

PCA member companies, who build major infrastructure projects across Canada, are barred from bidding on and building taxpayer funded projects in Toronto because they are not affiliated with the city’s favoured unions. While PCA member workforces are unionized, they are not members of the “right” unions.

“It’s about time the City of Toronto stopped restricting bidding to select unions, and opened up city projects to all talented and experienced contractors and their workers,” said Karen Renkema, Vice-President Ontario, at PCA. “Construction competition results in multiple bids. It encourages contractors to innovate and that lowers costs. This should be a no-brainer for a city struggling to cover the cost of capital projects.”

By opting out of provincial legislation that allowed Toronto and other municipalities to open up their construction markets, the Montreal Economic Institute calculates that Toronto passed up on cost savings of $318 million in 2019 alone.

Research from the Cardus think tank shows competition has resulted in major savings in municipalities where bidding was previously restricted. The Region of Waterloo, Sault Ste. Marie and Hamilton have seen a significant drop in the cost of building public projects.

“Toronto’s failure to embrace construction competition does taxpayers, companies and workers a real disservice,” added Renkema. “Cost savings from competition would go a long way in funding other priority projects, and fixing a city that’s fallen into disrepair.”