VICA joins BCCA in expressing concern about the BC NDP Community Benefits Agreement
The Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA) joins the British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) in expressing concern about the Community Benefits Agreement announced by B.C. Premier John Horgan on July 16, 2018.
“We certainly support any initiative that promotes apprentices, indigenous peoples, and women in the trades but, in doing so, any agreements must be fair, open, transparent, and good for all Vancouver Islanders and British Columbians,” said Rory Kulmala, VICA CEO. “It is imperative that all construction projects in B.C. are open to all companies, both union and non-union, without binding them to a prescribed labour agreement”.
Community Benefit Agreements are seen by various levels of government as a means to solve social issues; however, they represent a potentially limiting approach that may layer on costs and reduce competitive bidding on provincial infrastructure projects.
VICA and BCCA are non-partisan construction associations representing both union and open-shop employers. The two have always advocated for fair, open, and transparent procurement processes, which are an obligation and responsibility of government to taxpayers.
VICA and BCCA strongly oppose any procurement practice or program that seeks to confer exclusive bidding rights to firms based upon any system of quotas or legislated wages within the province.
The agreement’s approach to maximizing opportunities for both equity-seeking groups as well as apprenticeships can be valuable; however, it is extremely important that the government proceeds with caution to avoid any unintended negative consequences for both the construction sector and taxpayers.
The government is focusing on inclusivity through support for indigenous and local communities, women, and apprentices but British Columbians may not benefit when 80 per cent of the construction workforce — which is non-union — could face potential barriers to participate in multi-billion-dollar public projects.
VICA is continuing to learn details of the Community Benefits Agreement and will work with BCCA and its regional construction association partners to monitor the rollout of the agreement to better understand its near- and long-term impact on the industry.
The Vancouver Island Construction Association (VICA) has served the construction community since 1912 and is one of Canada’s oldest not-for-profit, industry associations. With offices in Victoria and Nanaimo, VICA connects the Island’s institutional, commercial, and multi-family residential sectors with skilled labour, education, and networking opportunities. The Association represents 430+ members across Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Kelly Marion, Marketing & Communications
Vancouver Island Construction Association
email@example.com | 250.800.0918
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