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Harris calls on Liberals, NDP to support Fair and Open Tendering Act

September 19, 2013

QUEEN’S PARK — Today, Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris called on the Liberals and the NDP to put aside partisan politics and act in the interests of Ontario municipalities, contractors and taxpayers by voting in favour of Bill 73, the Fair and Open Tendering Act, this afternoon.

“I hope the Liberals and the NDP can agree that the province should no longer stand by while municipalities are forced to fund labour monopolies that prevent thousands of qualified contractors from bidding on public-infrastructure work,” Harris said.

“This unfair labour practice strains municipal budgets, results in higher taxes and shuts contractors 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. “Discriminating against qualified contractors on the basis of who they have chosen to associate with is patently unfair and unacceptable in today’s day and age.”

To restore fairness, Bill 73 would reinstate the rights of thousands of contractors who have been unfairly barred from working on public infrastructure in the community where they live, work and pay taxes. The bill would also 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.

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 this afternoon and vote in the best interest of Ontarians, not special-interest groups.”

For more information about the Fair and Open Tendering Act, log on to www.SupportOpenTendering.ca.