Ontario Contractors Warn Flawed Hiring Quotas Undermine New Infrastructure Legislation

Toronto (November 27, 2013) – The Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA), the voice of progressively unionized employers in Ontario’s construction industry, today expressed significant concern with hiring quotas contained in the Ontario Government’s proposed Infrastructure through Jobs and Prosperity Act.

“We strongly support long-term infrastructure planning that provides a stable and predictable business environment for construction employers. And the promotion and development of our skilled trades workforce is one of the founding principles of PCA.  However, the inclusion of hiring quotas in this Act unnecessarily pits worker against worker on the basis of legitimate training decisions they have made, and will be a barrier not an incentive toward the Government’s stated goal of increasing our skilled trades workforce,” said Sean Reid, Ontario and Federal Director of PCA.

The legislation includes language establishing hiring quotas on certain provincial projects. It also provides a framework that compels the Government to table ten-year infrastructure plans in the legislature, including requirements on how projects must be prioritized, while following key principles.

“There are a wide range of options the Government could have used to encourage skills training in the construction industry. Unfortunately, they have chosen the most rigid and punitive of those options,” said Reid. “We believe the legislation should be amended to more broadly recognize the investment contractors make in skills training and development, not purely hiring quotas. We look forward to working with the Government and legislators to bring forward amendments that meet this objective.” 


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For Further Information Contact:

Sean Reid, Director, Federal and Ontario, PCA, sreid@pcac.ca, 289-335-1181