QUEEN’S PARK — Today, the Liberals and the NDP joined forces to advance their own partisan agendas at the expense of Ontario municipalities, local contractors and taxpayers throughout the province by voting against Bill 73, the Fair and Open Tendering Act, Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris said.
“I am saddened and deeply disappointed to see that the Liberals and the NDP have taken a stand against taxpayers with their unreasonable opposition to the fair and well-researched proposal I put forward,” Harris said. “Because neither of these parties had any substantive arguments to use against Bill 73, they resorted to fear-mongering and a deliberate campaign of misinformation.”
If passed, Bill 73 would have reinstated the rights of thousands of contractors who have been unfairly barred from working on public infrastructure in the community where they live, work and pay taxes. The bill would have also saved Ontario taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars every year by preserving and restoring the ability of municipalities and school boards to openly tender contracts for large infrastructure projects.
“This legislative reform was endorsed by the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the Mayors and Regional Chairs of Ontario and the Large Urban Mayors Caucus of Ontario. Still, the Liberals and the NDP decided to vote against it,” Harris said.
“To the detriment of our province, they have chosen to maintain a system that discriminates against qualified contractors on the basis of who they have chosen to associate with. Their stance on this issue is patently unfair and unacceptable, and the Ontario PC Caucus will continue to point that out.”
Because Bill 73 has been defeated, the labour board will likely approve an application to bind Waterloo Region to a province-wide collective-bargaining agreement for construction companies, and which local officials had nothing to do with.
“I am particularly disappointed with local MPPs John Milloy and Catherine Fife who have voted against our Region, local construction companies in our community and our constituents who will now have to foot the bill for their short-sighted decision,” Harris said. “We now know that both of these MPPs are more interested in advancing their own partisan agendas than advancing the interests of ordinary Ontarians.”
For more information about the Fair and Open Tendering Act, log on to www.SupportOpenTendering.ca.