Labour

We humbly suggest:

  • When labour relations are more cooperative and less adversarial, it benefits employers, workers, and the economy as a whole.
  • Citizens and consumers are best served when a wide diversity of organizations, including labour unions, compete and cooperate with one another in markets governed by the rule of law.

Supporting Research

Bouncing Back Through Diversity: The Effects of Bill 66 on Construction Competition in the Region of Waterloo
Brian Dijkema
July 22, 2021
Our results show that the removal of restrictions enabled the Region of Waterloo to “bounce back” toward its original competitive state. The removal of restrictions led to a greater numbers of bids, more bidders, more unique firms bidding, and decreased bid gaps indicating downward pressure on municipal construction costs.
Community Benefits Agreements: Toward a Fair, Open, and Inclusive Framework for Canada
July 15, 2021
As Canada emerges from the COVID-19 crisis and accompanying recession, governments, the construction sector, and communities alike look to massive infrastructure spending to reignite the economy and promote lasting community benefits across the country. This report addresses, from the perspective of the builders’ community, the concept of community benefits agreements (CBAs)—an often poorly understood and ill-defined concept that is gaining prominence in Canada and other Western democracies.
Remarks for Economic Club of Canada Presentation
Ray Pennings
February 25, 2019

Explorations

No Competition, Please. We’re Canadian.
Convivium
Peter Menzies
August 14, 2019
Whether it’s air travel or Internet, the time-honoured Canuck reflex is to boldly pacify the masses with the security blanket of quasi-monopolies, contends Convivium contributor Peter Menzies.  
The NDP’s Anti-Labour Paradox
Convivium
Peter Stockland, Brian Dijkema
July 27, 2018
Cardus’ director of Work and Economics made waves on Canada’s West Coast this month with a report critiquing the B.C. government’s move to let only unionized construction companies bid for major infrastructure projects. But, Brian Dijkema tells Convivum, the policy will cost taxpayers billions, punish workers, and risk damage to democracy itself.
Workers Present
Convivium
Brian Dijkema
July 5, 2016
Cardus Work and Economics Program Director Brian Dijkema reflects on the opportunity that construction season provides us to celebrate the "vast array of talents and skills that it takes to keep a country and its economy functioning." 

Media Coverage

PCA budget submission calls for expansion of open tendering
Daily Commercial News
February 23, 2021
The Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA) has issued a pre-budget submission to the Ontario government that focuses on open tendering, modernizing Ontario’s skilled trades and boosting apprenticeship investments. A Cardus report, which says that, "The city could generate at least $174 million in savings annually by simply opening up construction tendering to all qualified contractors,” has been cited in the submission. 
America Needs a Conservative Labor Movement
The Wall Street Journal
September 17, 2020
"Conservative social analysts have long celebrated the role of unions in free societies," writes Oren Cass in the Wall Street Journal. "The eminent sociologist Robert Nisbet declared unions 'the true supports of economic freedom.' And as the labor expert Brian Dijkema notes, 'It is no coincidence that what finally broke the Soviet Union was a Catholic trade union.'"
The unlikeliest of unions: Conservatives look to make allies in the labour movement
National Post
September 9, 2020
"There may be no more unlikely union than one between organized labour and the world’s conservatives," report the National Post, "but there has been an increasingly loud chorus of right-leaning thinkers arguing for the improbable marriage." "The conservative movement has always been suspicious about the concentration of power and has been interested in restraining the abuse of that power," says Cardus Vice President of External Affairs Brian Dijkema, in the National Post. "If you try negotiating — an individual worker — with your boss who hires you and has the ability to fire you, even if you’re protected by law, it’s not an equal relationship. No way. And it strikes me that we shouldn’t be afraid to make that relationship equal."

What else are we working toward?

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Strong Family Projects Human Dignity Projects Religious Freedom Projects Healthy Community Projects Formative Education Projects Recent Projects
Strong Family Projects Human Dignity Projects Religious Freedom Projects Healthy Community Projects Formative Education Projects Recent Projects
Strong Family Projects Human Dignity Projects Religious Freedom Projects Healthy Community Projects Formative Education Projects Recent Projects
Strong Family Projects Human Dignity Projects Religious Freedom Projects Healthy Community Projects Formative Education Projects Recent Projects
Recent Research
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