Business association hands out mock red tape ‘award’ to B.C. for union rules on public construction projects
TORONTO—British Columbia’s new framework for public infrastructure projects made the list of egregious regulatory restrictions across the country in the Canadian Federal of Independent Businesses annual ‘Paperweights.’
The Community Benefits Agreement, which requires construction firms working on provincial infrastructure projects to join specific unions and comply with what the CFIB calls “336 pages of overly prescriptive rules,” made the list of mock award winners, announced Jan. 21.
“This year’s crop of ‘winners’ includes silly restrictions on who can use the word ‘cannabis,’ Toronto’s archaic business licencing process, and BC’s new mandatory union rules for public projects, which specify, among other things, that employees must be served on warm dinner plates,” Jordi Morgan, CFIB’s vice-president for Atlantic Canada, said.
British Columbia unveiled the agreement July 16 of last year, announcing that it would be moving forward with the framework Jan. 17. The first projects to be delivered under the CBA are the Pattullo Bridge and projects within the Trans-Canada four-laning program.
“Most of these examples could easily be fixed with a bit of common sense and foresight,” Morgan said. “We hope these agencies, governments and municipalities take notice of their Paperweight ‘win’ and challenge themselves to do better going forward.”