McGuinty Government Slams Door on Open Tendering at TDSB

- Ontario Government renewal of exclusive construction contract will cost TDSB millions -

TORONTO, Jan. 4, 2013 /CNW/ - Progressive unionized construction contractors in Ontario are outraged that the McGuinty government has unilaterally renewed the costly and exclusive contract between the Toronto District School Board and the Maintenance and Construction Skilled Trades Council. Industry experts estimate this contract is costing Toronto taxpayers millions of dollars in inflated construction costs each year.

"This is a slap in the face to teachers, parents, school board officials and taxpayers," said Sean Reid, Federal and Ontario Director of the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA). "While the McGuinty government strong-arms teachers and school boards to accept its austerity measures, they are renewing their sweetheart deals with a few privileged, old-style trade unions. That hypocrisy is costing taxpayers in Toronto and across Ontario millions."

PCA member companies, whose workers are unionized primarily by the Christian Labour Association of Canada, build schools, bridges, hospitals, industrial plants and office buildings across Ontario and Canada. But despite their qualifications, these same companies are prevented under Ontario law from working for the Toronto District School Board and other public jurisdictions in Ontario, simply because they are affiliated with the "wrong" union.

A recent study by Cardus, a Canadian think tank, found that these construction monopolies are costing Ontario taxpayers well over $250 million every year. The implications for the TDSB's bottom line are equally startling. Given that it faces a $30 billion dollar construction backlog, the TDSB can expect to pay $120 million dollars more for construction under the monopoly than it would if its tendering process were open and fair. The full report can be found at http://www.cardus.ca/research/workandeconomics/publications/

"Despite the best efforts of the TDSB to improve the situation, it appears the McGuinty government has once again turned a blind eye to fiscal responsibility for the sake of appeasing a few privileged trade union allies," said Reid. "It is time for our leaders at Queens Park to set aside political interests, restore open construction tendering across Ontario, and do the right thing for Ontario taxpayers and our economy."

About Progressive Contractors Association of Canada:

The Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA) is the voice of progressive unionized employers in Canada's construction industry. PCA member companies employ more than 20,000 skilled construction workers across Canada, represented primarily by the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC). For more information about PCA, go to pcac.ca

SOURCE: Progressive Contractors Association of Canada

For further information:

Media Contact:
Sean Reid
Federal and Ontario Director, PCA
(289) 335-1181 ext. 1