Toronto Council Puts Politics Ahead of Fiscal Responsibility with Open Tendering Decision

Toronto (June 19, 2019) – The Mayor and Toronto Council have let down local taxpayers and workers across the city, by opting out of Bill 66 and moreover by choosing to make a special deal with a select labour group that will raise the cost of city construction projects and bar most workers and companies from building local public projects, according to the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA).

“Council had a golden opportunity to save taxpayers millions of dollars, but chose not to,” said Sean Reid, Vice President and Regional Director, Ontario, for PCA. “It’s just plain politicking when a cash-strapped city council passes up substantial savings and puts special interest groups ahead of their own constituents.”

Toronto may become the only city in Ontario to reject Bill 66, which would have opened up the city’s construction market to all qualified contractors. To make matters worse, council supported a deal that allows one more labour group (LIUNA) into a cartel that has monopolized city construction projects for years. The move shuts the vast majority of companies and their workers out of local projects, simply because they are not affiliated with the right select unions, or have no union affiliation.

“It’s a sad day when a city that’s supposed to be progressive and inclusive demonstrates that it is anything but,” added Reid. “Councillors and the Mayor are snubbing thousands of highly skilled workers and respected companies. Playing political favourites is nothing to be proud of.”

Research shows that an open construction market could have saved Toronto taxpayers between 8 and 15 percent at minimum on public projects, or anywhere from $48 million to $90 million. That’s funding that could have gone a long way in addressing Toronto’s budget shortfall.

A legal opinion on the LIUNA deal obtained by PCA’s labour partner CLAC shows the arrangement violates the City of Toronto Act and the city’s own bylaws and procurement policies, by privileging one group over others.

About the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA)

PCA is the voice of progressive unionized employers in Canada’s construction industry. PCA member companies are leaders in infrastructure construction across Canada, employing more than 25,000 skilled construction workers who are represented primarily by CLAC.

For further information, contact: Danna O’Brien, 416-500-0699

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