On-Site Magazine

OWSCA calls for end to closed tendering for civil projects


Construction civil OSWCA sewer watermain

Closed tendering practices will extend to local civil construction projects in Waterloo, Ont. – a move that could threaten contractors’ ability to work in the region, according to the Ontario Sewer & Watermain Construction Association (OSWCA).

The OSWCA, which represents 750 companies across the province, including contractors, manufacturers, distributors and consulting engineers, has called on the city’s elected officials to “show leadership on fair and open tendering” and cease this extension.

OSWCA membership comprises 10 local associations, two pipe producers and one independent association.

“Tendering restrictions are now being applied to civil construction projects, which was never the original intent,” said Giovanni Cautillo, executive director of the OSWCA.

“Our concern is that sewer and watermain contractors, who have been successfully performing this work for decades, won’t be allowed to keep working on Region of Waterloo projects unless elected officials step up and address this issue. The question is, why aren’t they?”


The process of closed tendering allows only unionized contractors to bid on public construction projects. The impact of restricted construction tendering for public and civil projects in the cities of Hamilton and Waterloo was reviewed during a luncheon that brought together the Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge and Hamilton Chambers of Commerce, as well as the OSWCA.

“Our local contractors are being shut out of projects in the Region of Waterloo even though that work falls outside the scope of the Region’s certification with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America,” said Cautillo. “Local elected officials should be pushing back and providing leadership on this issue, rather than allowing it to go on.”

The OSWCA, acting as champion of the sewer and watermain industry, supports clean water and safe wastewater management through advocacy, education and environmentally sustainable practices. The association completes over $1 billion in capital projects each year, and promotes health and safety, professionalism, ethical practices, sound infrastructure investments, good governance and fiscal responsibility.



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