PCA Urges B.C. Government to Scrap New Rules for Building Public Projects

(July 26, 2018) – In an open letter to Premier Horgan the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA) has joined business groups in calling on the premier to abandon his government’s “ill-advised and ill-conceived procurement model” for building public infrastructure in the province. The letter can be found here.

PCA member companies employ thousands of skilled construction workers across B.C., who will be required to join and pay union dues to the Building Trades Unions (BTUs) within 30 days on a job site, in order to work on taxpayer-funded projects.

“We believe the government’s new framework contravenes workers’ right to freedom of association under the charter of rights,” said Paul de Jong, President of the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA). “The new rules are an affront to 85 percent of B.C.’s construction workforce that has chosen for various reasons not to join the Building Trades Unions.”

While the B.C. government has set a new 25 percent apprenticeship target on projects, PCA member companies often far exceed that, with upwards of 30 and even 40 percent of apprentices on the job.

“We question the government’s motivation for creating a new community benefits framework that’s aimed at achieving what our member companies are already accomplishing,” added de Jong. “This government should scrap its regressive and undemocratic rules that show little regard for the vast majority of B.C. construction workers and hard-working taxpayers.”

When done transparently, and in good faith, PCA believes Community Benefits Agreements can greatly benefit communities and underrepresented groups. But when they’re devised to grant the BTUs a monopoly on public projects that will translate into millions, and potentially even billions, in wasted B.C. tax dollars.

PCA is the voice of progressive unionized employers in Canada’s construction industry. Our member companies are responsible for 40 percent of energy and natural resource construction projects in British Columbia and Alberta and are leaders in infrastructure construction across Canada. PCA member companies employ more than 25,000 skilled construction workers in Canada, represented primarily by CLAC.

For further information, contact:
Danna O’Brien, Danna@obriencommunications.ca 416-500-0699

Leave a Comment