Manitoba set to shut local companies and hundreds of workers out of projects

At the height of a skilled labour shortage in Manitoba, the provincial government is introducing legislation that will prevent hundreds of local construction workers and good companies from building public projects in the province, according to the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA) whose members employ 40,000 unionized construction workers across Canada.

“Shutting many highly talented and experienced local companies out of public projects because their workers don’t belong to a favoured union, is just plain wrong,” said Paul de Jong, President & CEO of PCA. “This is a flawed policy and flawed thinking, that will only make Manitoba’s skilled labour shortage worse.”

The Manitoba government has introduced Bill 7, which eliminates the previous government’s decision to prevent tendering practises that favour a specific labour model.

“This labour policy takes Manitoba one giant step backwards,” added de Jong. “Discouraging competition has no upside. It drives up construction costs for taxpayers, and restricts opportunities for construction workers at a time when they’re needed more than ever.”