Ontario Cities Shortchanged by Outdated Labour Laws

September 26, 2018
Cardus

New report: Close to $2.5 billion in municipal construction contracts not subject to fair and open bidding

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 26, 2018

HAMILTON – A new report finds outdated Ontario labour laws are now sheltering almost $2.5 billion worth of publicly funded municipal infrastructure work from fair and open competition. That is over three times more than the $750 million worth of work blocked from competitive bidding in 2012 – prior to the start of many major projects since then and the addition of the Region of Waterloo to Ontario’s closed jurisdictions. The findings appear in the newly published Shortchanging Ontario Cities: A Cardus Competitiveness Monitor Update. 

“Ontario cities need enormous help in getting infrastructure built, which only becomes more expensive without fair and open bidding for construction contracts,” says Brian Dijkema at think tank Cardus. “With fair and open bidding, projects in Toronto, Hamilton, Waterloo Region, and Sault Ste. Marie would save taxpayers more than $370 million – and that’s just taking the median estimate of how badly inflated construction prices are because of an outdated provision of the Ontario Labour Relations Act.”

 Estimated Costs of Projects Sheltered from Fair and Open Bidding in Ontario

City of Toronto

$1,697,580,770

Region of Waterloo

$317,227,933

City of Hamilton

$235,628,000

City of Sault Ste. Marie

$45,429,750

Toronto District School Board

$177,514,336

 

Gross Total

$2,473,380,789

 

Estimated 15% savings from open bidding

$371,007,118

The research is clear. Residents of Toronto, Hamilton, Waterloo Region, and Sault Ste. Marie would be able to afford much more infrastructure if the province brought outdated labour laws in compliance with Ontario’s own procurement directives, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development best practices, and procurement expert recommendations.

“The longer outdated laws are on the books, the longer Ontario cities will be shortchanged,” said Dijkema.

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

MEDIA INQUIRIES

Daniel Proussalidis
Cardus - Director of Communications
613-241-4500 x508
dproussalidis@cardus.ca

About Cardus
Cardus is a non-partisan, faith-based think tank, and registered charity dedicated to promoting a flourishing society through independent research, robust public dialogue, and thought-provoking commentary. To learn more, visit our website, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook.

ABOUT CARDUS

Cardus is a non-partisan, not-for-profit public policy think tank focused on the following areas: education, family, work & economics, social cities, end-of-life care, and religious freedom. It conducts independent and original research, produces several periodicals, and regularly stages events with Senior Fellows and interested constituents across Canada and the U.S.