On-Site Magazine

PCA urging Competition Bureau investigation

By Adam Freill   


Construction association claims Ottawa hospital expansion deal shuts out thousands of Ottawa area construction workers.

The Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA), whose members build major infrastructure and capital projects, have submitted a complaint to the Competition Bureau urging the organization to investigate an exclusive labour deal at The Ottawa Hospital.

According to a statement from PCA, the complaint centres on an exclusive labour agreement between the hospital and the Unionized Building and Construction Trades of Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec, which prohibits contractors and workers who are not affiliated with these select unions from bidding on and building the hospital’s new $2.8 billion Civic Campus.

“There’s something seriously wrong when thousands of Ottawa area construction workers and local companies have no chance to build one of the largest infrastructure projects in the city’s history,” said Karen Renkema, Ontario vice-president at PCA. “This is a deal that shuts out local talent, and does not provide good public value. That warrants an investigation.”

She explained that no other Ontario healthcare facilities have been built using that arrangement.


“The Ottawa Hospital’s restrictive PLA is not in the public interest,” added Renkema. “It is a clear example of exclusive dealing, tied selling and market restrictions, which run counter to the Competition Act.”


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