Harris calls on Liberals to co-operate on restoring open tendering

QUEEN’S PARK — In question period today, Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris demanded that the Liberal government start co-operating on developing a solution to restore open tendering in Waterloo Region now that a recent Labour Relations Board decision has resulted in a labour monopoly over local infrastructure.

“The government had previously committed to review the certification process after the Region of Waterloo had completed its case at the labour board,” Harris said. “Now that the Region has lost its case, it’s time for the Liberals to live up to their word and begin working with our party to solve this problem.”

Earlier this month, the Region lost its challenge to a Carpenters’ Union certification bid after being declared a “construction employer” for fixing a toilet handle at an addiction centre and installing a sign at a bus station.

“As a result, all regional contracts for infrastructure projects must now be tendered to select group of companies while thousands of local tradespeople have been barred from working on publicly funded infrastructure in the community where they live, work and pay taxes,” Harris explained. “Ontarians know this situation is unfair, and they expect their government to fix it.”

Last year, Harris tabled the Fair and Open Tendering Act, which would have prevented the Region of Waterloo from becoming locked into a labour monopoly. The Liberals dismissed the bill at the time, saying that they would only revisit the issue if the Region of Waterloo lost.

“Maintaining open tendering in Waterloo Region is an issue of fairness,” Harris said. “So it is simply wrong to tell hardworking men and women in our local construction industry that they will no longer be allowed to work on publicly funded infrastructure just because they don’t hold the right union card or have chosen not to hold one at all.”

To watch Harris’s question, click on the following link: http://youtu.be/UO0PVtJKVpM. Or, you can click on the Question Period slider above.

For more information about the importance of open tendering and the Fair and Open Tendering Act, log on to SupportOpenTendering.ca.

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