Fair and Open Tendering Act up for important vote tomorrow

September 18, 2013

QUEEN’S PARK — Today, Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris called on the Liberals and the NDP to take a stand for taxpayers, contractors and local officials by voting in favour of Bill 73, the Fair and Open Tendering Act, which is up for a critical vote on Thursday.

“We have heard the Premier and the leader of the NDP talk a lot about fairness and getting results,” Harris said. “Well, here’s a good opportunity to actually get some real results for Ontarians. Tomorrow, I encourage the Liberals and the NDP to put their claims into action by supporting the Fair and Open Tendering Act.”

Bill 73 would save Ontario taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars every year by preserving and restoring the ability of municipalities and school boards to openly tender contracts for large infrastructure projects.

“At a time when Ontario is facing a $60-billlion infrastructure deficit, I would hope all members of the Legislative Assembly would vote in the best interests of taxpayers in their ridings,” Harris said.

Bill 73 would also preserve and restore the rights of thousands of contractors who have been barred from working on public infrastructure in the community where they live, work and pay taxes

“Today, in communities that are subject to closed tendering, up to 70% of qualified contractors are shut out of the bidding process just because they don’t hold the right union card or have chosen not to hold one at all,” Harris said. “This is unacceptable. All qualified contractors, regardless of their union affiliation, should be able to work on taxpayer-funded infrastructure.”

Because of this balanced and fair approach, Bill 73 has won the support of unionized contractors, construction associations and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

“This legislative reform is also supported by the Mayors and Regional Chairs of Ontario and the Large Urban Mayors Caucus of Ontario. That means the entire municipal community is on board,” Harris said. “I hope the Liberals and the NDP make the right decision tomorrow.”

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