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Publications

Restrictive Tendering: Protection For Whom?

It makes sense that most of our public debate about infrastructure spending focuses on revenue. Where will we get the money? Who will pay? How? Which tax structures will be needed to build our bridges? Should we borrow to pay for our water treatment plants and subway lines? If so, how much? But too heavy a focus on revenue can lead us to neglect sound public poli...

Valuing Toronto's Faith Congregations

Churches and faith communities of various traditions have a great deal to offer to society and to the common good. Typically, these contributions have focused on qualitative contributions that congregations make to the cultural, spiritual, and social well-being of the communities that surround them. Few studies, however, have assessed these contributions in quant...

Business Gone Quiet

Canadian businesses tend to be leading players in public policy debates, pushing governments to ask hard questions about costs and efficacy....except in K-12 education. The business community is virtually silent on an issue to which governments dedicate more money than any other service save health. This report asks, Why?

Banking on the Margins

Our current payday loan market is failing consumers and society and government regulations alone cannot solve the current situation. Our new report, Banking on the Margins, aims at reforming Canada's payday loan market. In this report, we call for joint efforts between government, banks, credit unions and charities to provide customers with lower rate loans as an...

Tuning Up Ontario's Economic Engine: A Cardus Construction Competitiveness Mo...

Toronto rightly calls itself the economic engine of Ontario. But Toronto's performance is hampered by legislation which prevents it from getting the best value for its construction projects. Why? One of the reasons can be found in a 2008 Toronto city staff report which studied the cost implications of closed-tendering in Toronto. This paper reviews that staff rep...

The Building Meaning Project Paper and Recommendations

A social bias against employment in the skilled trades exists in this country. This culminating document of the Building Meaning project includes the Building Meaning in the Skilled Trades background paper, and our final series of recommendations for industry and labour stakeholders; educational institutions; governments; and researchers.

Hiding in Plain Sight: Evaluating Closed Tendering in Construction Markets

Ontario is faced with huge deficits and a debt that will hamper the province’s long-term economic prospects. In the face of this dire situation, Ontario’s government is turning over stones to find savings for the provincial budget. While many will focus on the need to make cuts in order to achieve this goal, there is a way to achieve significant savin...

Renewing Canadian Public Policy: Can Subsidiarity Provide the Framework?

Cardus is interested in exploring how subsidiarity could rejuvenate and bring cohesion to public and private thought and practice including both civil service and political processes and engagement. Through papers, research, and events with key leaders and thinkers, we hope to strengthen the discussion and practice of subsidiarity. This white paper from Cardus ex...

Canada's New Industrial Revolution

Canada is in the midst of a new industrial revolution which is changing the face of our economy. Resources— long lamented as the means by which Canadians served other, more developed countries—have instead held Canada steady through a global economic crisis and maintained an industrial core.

Competition and Cooperation

This policy paper presents the case for a new framework of understanding labour relations in Canada. Taking insights which move debates about labour beyond the pendulum of pro-union and anti-union policies, it proposes a new policy within a new framework. This new framework limits the state; removes anti-competitive legislation that favour one means of workplace...

Open Tendering Briefing Note

On May 21, 2013, Brian Dijkema presented this briefing note to the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in Ottawa, ON.

Cardus Construction Competitiveness Brief

A potential labour monopoly could increase costs by up to 40 percent on over a 100 million dollars worth of work in the Region of Waterloo, says a brief released by Hamilton based think-tank Cardus. The paper estimates A successful application in the Region of Waterloo could increase construction costs by up to 78 million dollars for 553,000 taxpayers in t...

Cardus Construction Competitiveness Monitor

Labour monopolies increase costs by up to 40 percent on nearly a billion dollars worth of Ontario construction projects, says a paper released by Hamilton based think-tank Cardus. The paper estimates, 25 percent of Ontario taxpayers are affected by municipal labour monopolies in construction Labour monopolies affect over 750 million dollars worth of construct...

College of Trades: An Impossible Institution

Ontario's College of Trades will not be effective in solving the very real problems with trades in Ontario, and will almost definitely increase the financial and regulatory burden on an already troubled sector. The COT is a far-reaching piece of legislation offering little confidence the College will objectively and responsibly manage Ontario's trades.

Where is the Research?

The rapid movement towards compulsory certification by Ontario's College of Trades is occurring in a research vacuum. Thus, significant regulation of a wide swath of the construction industry is being built before the design stage is complete. It is incumbent on us to carefully identify data incongruencies and gaps and to provide concrete evidence for changes whi...

Working Local: A study of Stationary Labour in Canada’s Construction Sector

Expanding on the findings made in Working Mobile, Ray Pennings further illuminates the labour situation in Canada's construction Industry by surveying local workers. Contact the Construction Sector Council to order a copy.

Competitively Working in Tomorrow's Construction

Taking as its basis a thorough literature review and data collected from interviews with a range of construction industry leaders, this study is an informed and descriptive discussion of trends and movements within the industry. Ray Pennings provides insight and analysis of major issues concerning the construction industry, such as construction labour relations a...

Buying a Labour Monopoly?

This document assesses the operation of Job Targeting Programs and their impact on the construction industry in Canada. The study raises a number of pertinent questions about JTPs and concludes that in practice, JTPs are guided by motives that go beyond cost competition and are part of an attempt to defend a particular system of craft organization in the construc...