The Ontario Sewer & Watermain Construction Association (OSWCA) applauds the passage of Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2019.
The OSWCA has specific interest in Schedule 9. This Schedule brings fairness back to the municipal construction procurement process by allowing all qualified contractors to bid on projects funded through the public purse.
“We applaud the Ford government’s efforts to move this issue forward, which will help to level access to the playing field in construction in the province,” said Brad Brewster, OSWCA president. “By opening up the tendering process, the government is also ensuring that taxpayers are receiving the best value for their tax dollars on infrastructure projects.”
A substantial body of research has demonstrated that closed tendering practices in certain municipalities has resulted in a reduction in the number of qualified contractors able to bid on publicly funded projects, which ultimately was resulting in significantly higher prices. According to the think-tank Cardus, Ontario municipalities could expect to save more than $370 million per years if all publicly funded construction and infrastructure projects were open to fair and open bidding process.
“Municipalities have a host of tools in their toolbox to help ensure that only qualified companies are able to bid on public infrastructure projects,” said Giovanni Cautillo, OSWCA executive director. “Restricting participation based on labour affiliation should never have been among these tools. OSWCA has hundreds of qualified contractors from across the labour spectrum and we are thrilled that they will soon be able to at least submit a competitive bid to municipalities across the province.”