Queens Park – Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris used the first day back at the Legislature to call for government’s recently announced labour review to include open-tendering.
Harris wrote a letter to Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn, shortly before issuing a statement in the House today asking that the Minister use the review opportunity to, “finally close the legislative loophole that allows a labour monopoly to command local infrastructure tendering.”
“Look, the Minister has a clear opportunity here to pick up on the concepts of fairness, competition and sustainability that my previous private members’ bill, the Fair and Open Tendering Act, attempted to restore in Ontario,” Harris stated. “The fact that today’s announced labour review will be looking at ‘globalization and trade liberalization’ as part of government’s economic plan to build new public infrastructure, provides an open door to consult with our local contractors about the need to fix our closed tendering situation.”
Harris’ call follows ongoing impacts from an Ontario Labour Board decision to deem Waterloo Region a “construction employer”, validating certification by the Carpenters Union and ensuring closed tendering for local infrastructure. He says today’s announcement of a labour review to focus on the Labour Relations Act prompted an invite for the Minister to hear from those impacted.
“Tendering restrictions across Ontario are wasting $283 million annually – and that number will only grow as government dithers,” concluded Harris. “Competition is being driven down, while the price for local infrastructure is being driven up – with a labour review being announced surely now is the time for action.”
Harris says while he looks forward to round-two on his private members bill, he remains steadfast in his dedication to have the issue resolved, and hopeful that a Government-directed solution could provide Ontarians with this necessary change in the fastest way possible.
To watch the video Michael Harris’ question in the house, click link below:
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