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Fair, Open, Competitive Contract Bidding for All Municipalities

April 2, 2019

HAMILTON – With Bill 66 passing third reading in the Ontario legislature, municipalities in the province stand to gain hundreds of millions of dollars by opening public construction contracts to all qualified bidders. 

The bill updated Ontario’s outdated labour laws, which had blocked almost $2.5 billion worth of publicly funded municipal infrastructure work from fair and open competition. Until now, Toronto, Hamilton, Waterloo Region, and Sault Ste. Marie – along with the Toronto District School Board – limited bids on public construction projects only to firms affiliated with a handful of favoured unions. 

Research has established that governments without fair and open bidding are paying inflated and uncompetitive prices for construction projects. Fair and open bidding on these construction contracts would save taxpayers a conservatively estimated $370 million.

“This change has been a long time in coming,” said Brian Dijkema, Work & Economics Program Director at think tank Cardus. “Finally, municipal governments, school boards, and other entities no longer have to be captive to a small group of trade union interests. Better yet, all qualified contractors will be able to have the opportunity to contribute to the construction of the communities where they live and play.”

The move to update Ontario’s labour laws is also in line with advice recently heard at the Economic Club of Canada.

To book an interview with Brian Dijkema, please, contact Daniel Proussalidis.

Daniel Proussalidis
Cardus – Director of Communications
613-241-4500 x508