Will BC Place replacement roof be built outside the province or outside
Canada? Ironworkers union says local BC steel fabrication companies are ready
and able to work on $458 million project but no word today from BC government

VANCOUVER, Oct. 23 /CNW/ - The question of whether the new BC Place replacement roof will be built outside BC or even Canada remains unresolved despite this morning's announcement that the now $458 million project will go ahead, says the Ironworkers union local representing steel fabrication workers.

Ironworkers Local 712 says two local BC steel fabrication companies are ready and able to do the work that would create 150 direct and hundreds more indirect BC jobs but are still left in limbo.

"The BC government's own website says "Every Job Counts" but we're still trying to find out if BC workers and BC companies will fabricate the roof for BC Place," said Rene Watteel, Business Manager for Ironworkers Local 712. (SEE: www.gov.bc.ca/infrastructure/)

"We remain deeply concerned that this important work funded by BC taxpayers may be exported to a Quebec-based company and that some of the work that could be done right here in our province could even go to Japan or China," Watteel said.

"We want the BC government and PAVCO to make a commitment to support our local industry and local workers who pay all their taxes here and spend their money in our BC economy - anything else just doesn't make sense," Watteel said. "Why would BC taxpayers want to stimulate the economy in another province or country and not right here?"

Watteel said two local steel fabrication firms placed bids on the project: Burnaby-based George Third & Son and Delta-based Canron Western Constructors. Quebec-based Canam Group and Ontario-based Walters Group are also believed to have been shortlisted.

Watteel said its important that evaluating the bids must include giving weight to the value of hiring local workers and promoting the BC steel fabrication industry.

The BC steel fabrication industry has a strong record of success and that 90% of its work is done for the private sector, showing its competitiveness, said Wateel.

Highly recognizable BC steel fabrication industry projects include the Richmond speed skating oval, GM Place, the Lions Gate Bridge retrofit, the new Vancouver Convention Centre, Metrotown, Science World, the entire YVR Vancouver Airport expansion project. And steel fabrication for the new Port Mann Bridge will be done by Canron.


For further information: For further information: Rene Watteel, Ironworkers, at (604) 525-2199; Eric Bohne, Ironworkers, at (604) 525-2199 ext 3, or cell (604) 619-0419; or Tom O'Neill, Ironworkers, at cell (604) 313-3113; or Bill Tieleman, West Star Communications, at cell (778) 896-0964 or (604) 844-7827

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