KITCHENER — Only the Ontario PC Party has a plan to create and retain well-paying construction jobs in Waterloo Region by maintaining fair and open tendering for local infrastructure projects, Kitchener-Conestoga Ontario PC Candidate Michael Harris said today.
“Last year, Kathleen Wynne and Andrea Horwath showed they’d rather throw unionized and open-shop tradespeople out of work than support my bill, the Fair and Open Tendering Act,” Harris said. “This proposed law, if passed, would have created more opportunities for local tradespeople to find work in Waterloo Region by preserving every qualified contractor’s right to bid on local infrastructure, regardless of their affiliation. Unfortunately, to appease the demands of special-interest groups, the Liberals and the NDP want to cut jobs in our community so they can hand over the exclusive right to bid on regional infrastructure to a construction monopoly that will drive up local taxes.”
Harris made his comments today at the Grand River Transit Headquarters, where he was joined by Kitchener-Waterloo Candidate Tracey Weiler, as well as local unionized and open-shop tradespeople who will likely soon be prevented from working on infrastructure projects in the community where they work, live and pay taxes.
“Last year, Catherine Fife led her party’s efforts to clear the way for one group to monopolize all infrastructure projects in Waterloo Region,” Weiler said. “So when people in Kitchener-Waterloo go to the ballot box, they should remember that Catherine Fife has no problem driving up local taxes and killing local jobs just to toe the party line.”
Harris’s legislative solution is to close a loophole in Ontario’s Labour Relations Act by exempting municipalities and school boards from collective-bargaining rules for the construction industry. “Municipalities should be able to collectively bargain directly with their employees,” Harris said. “They should not be forced to become a part of an agreement that was negotiated by and only ever intended to apply to construction companies.”
For more information about the importance of open tendering and the Fair and Open Tendering Act, log on to SupportOpenTendering.ca.