Ontario Report – April, 2012

PCA continues to grow in Ontario, both in numbers and influence.

The core issues in Ontario revolve around competition. Open public tendering remains very high on our agenda, as we leverage a fragile political, fiscal and economic climate to draw greater attention to the core issues of open tendering and competitive labour supply (i.e. College of Trades and Apprenticeship Ratios)—issues that strike at the heart of fiscal responsibility and job creation. The recent release of the Drummond Report (see below) shows that Ontario’s fiscal situation is dire. As government and opposition seek ways to reconcile Ontario’s weak financial position with its large infrastructure deficit and need to develop its resource capacity, PCA’s approach of responsible, competitive and open construction should increasingly be seen as a progressive way forward for the province’s construction industry.

Front and centre is the success of the Ontario Construction Employers Coalition, a coalition of eight of the largest construction associations in the province, co-founded and chaired by PCA. We have been pleased with the broad publicity our Coalition has generated in both industry and mainstream media, including features in the Daily Commercial News and the Hamilton Spectator. Our issues are now featured items for Question Period in the Ontario legislature on a weekly basis. As a result of the pressure we have applied, we were pleased to see 3 of our coalition members recently appointed to the College’s influential Roster of Adjudicators. We will continue to keep the pressure on in the weeks and months to come as the review of ratios begins—a debate of great interest to our members.

We have used the debate over Pan-Am Games construction at Hamilton’s Ivor Wynne Stadium to bring an acute sense of the impact open public tendering could have for Hamilton. We are pleased to have the full support of PC Pan-Am Games Critic Rod Jackson, and were happy to participate in a press conference with him on the issue. We have also begun to step up our engagement with Hamilton City Councillors to re-energize them around this issue. We will be doing the same in Toronto in the coming months. Continued success on this file would ensure that our contractors—and all Ontarians—can benefit from a construction environment which is competitive and open to all corporate citizens in the province.

As a result in part of PCA’s greater prominence in our industry we are pleased to see continued growth in our membership, which as of February 1 was up to 27 member companies across the province.