Union-only public contracting for major hydroelectric projects in B.C. dates back to the Social Credit era. But the world and the B.C. construction sector have moved on in the half-century since then. Virtually all construction (except single-family homes) was done union in the 1970s, but today only a small and shrinking fraction is. Unions long since ceased to be the main trainers of construction workers, and labour peace and stability has been in place for decades.
BURNABY – The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) released its fall edition of The Construction Monitor today, focusing on the monopoly on large-scale public construction projects given by the NDP to their Building Trades Unions donors.
This backgrounder builds on an ICBA Construction Monitor released in June, also on the flaws of the NDP’s PLA model.
John Horgan is shamelessly using tens of billions in public construction and infrastructure spending to settle political debts to his allies in the old-school building trades unions, giving these few unions a monopoly on taxpayer-funded work.
A wide cross section of the province’s business and labour community has called on him to back down, and ICBA is leading a large coalition standing up for fairness.
Horgan’s sweetheart ‘deal’ will deliver a cash infusion to the unions, create massive job-site inefficiencies, and deliver far less value for tax dollars than fair procurement practices would.
His so-called ‘Community Beneﬁts Agreement’ will narrow the range of bidders on public projects and, even more troublingly, force member-ship in the highly partisan building trades unions.
The new reality for public construction is this: Successful bidders will have to borrow their workforces from a new government agency that will act as the centrally planned employer. This discriminates against the 85 per cent of B.C. construction workers not represented by the building trades.
Complex and productivity-killing rules about which union has “jurisdiction” over each task – largely abandoned elsewhere in the construction industry – will be in full force. And individual workers will be forced to join an NDP-approved union, with no regard to individual choice and rights.
Horgan’s gift-to-the-building- trades is copied out of the flawed Glen Clark playbook from the 1990s – which drove up labour costs on the Island Highway project by close to 40 per cent.
It’s nearly a quarter-of-a-century later, and the building trades rep-resent even less of the construction industry today than they did then. It simply defies belief that the NDP has nevertheless put us back on that same ruinous road, where worker rights and taxpayer value get thoroughly trampled.
ICBA’s Jordan Bateman talked with Howe Street’s Jim Goddard about the NDP’s so-called “speculation” tax and what he’s looking for in municipal candidates.
Call for Nominations for 2018 Gord Stewart Construction Workplace Health and Safety Innovation Award
The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) and WorkSafeBC are pleased to announce the 2018 Gord Stewart Construction Workplace Health and Safety Innovation Award is now open for entries from eligible ICBA members and their employees.
About the Award
The Workplace Health and Safety Innovation Award is presented annually to acknowledge individuals and companies for their efforts in the prevention of workplace incidents, injuries and illnesses. By honouring safety leaders and sharing their ideas ICBA and WorkSafeBC hope to encourage new programs, policies, and projects that improve the health and safety of workers.
The award recognizes the employee or team of employees who come up with an innovative program, policy, tool or project that demonstrates a proven accomplishment in the area of health and safety for the construction industry sector.
There is a $5,000 prize for the best submission and will be presented at the ICBA AGM Dinner on Tuesday, November 20 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
All employees of ICBA member companies are eligible for the Annual Awards for Innovation in Workplace Health and Safety for Construction.
Nominations must be received by Nov. 1, 2018.
VANCOUVER – The Independent Contractors and Businesses Association (ICBA) and Canada West Construction Union yesterday filed leave to appeal a BC Supreme Court decision against an injunction to pause the proportional representation referendum process.
On August 28th, Justice Miriam Gropper turned down ICBA’s request for an injunction to pause the referendum process until the legality of the process could be confirmed in court.
The NDP Government has been dragging its heels on defending its referendum process, taking over two months to file a response to ICBA’s challenge. “The NDP Government talks a lot about democracy and having a fair debate, but they have shown no willingness to respond in a reasonable fashion – it’s their rules, it’s their process and it’s their referendum – they need to show up. We prepared our challenge within a week, and they needed more than two months,” said Chris Gardner, president of ICBA.
ICBA first filed its concerns with the process in early July, as soon as Attorney General David Eby released the rules. “As we have said from the start, the referendum question is confusing, the process was rushed, and there was little consultation,” said Gardner. “Given that the NDP government needs so much time to defend its own law and regulations, we think the only fair and reasonable course is for the referendum to be postponed.”
ICBA’s original case against the NDP government continues on and ICBA is hopeful that the government will agree to a court date in the fall. But until then, ICBA is seeking an injunction because the government is attempting to “run out the clock” and leave the courts with little practical remedy should the ICBA prevail in court, because the referendum will already be over.
“We know the NDP Government would rather the whole proportional representation referendum proceed with little scrutiny or debate, but we believe that British Columbians deserve better than this and our democracy deserves better than this,” said Gardner. “If the NDP wants to hold a referendum, then its incumbent upon them to be fair – why not take the same approach as the former government in 2005 and 2009?”
“Changing how we elect our government requires a fair and open process with a clear question and a timeline that will allow for a robust debate. It neither fair nor democratic for the NDP Government to effectively rig the question and the process to provoke the result it wants.”
The ICBA is arguing in court that the referendum question and process is fundamentally flawed:
- It is not consistent with the NDP Government’s own Referendum Act, which calls for “a clear statement of the majority of voters on whether or not to implement a well-defined and comprehensible new voting system”;
- A binding referendum must be supported “by a clear majority on a clear question”;
- It is inconsistent with sections 2(b) and 3 of the Charter, “which give British Columbians the right to meaningfully participate in a fair and comprehensible referendum process” in relation to fundamental changes to the electoral system;
- It is inconsistent with sections 2(b) and 2(d) of the Charter, which require that “British Columbians be able to fully express themselves and debate fundamental changes to the design of the democratic system”; and,
- The regulations unlawfully restrict freedom of expression on matters of public interest.
In the period between World War I and World War II, as people grappled with economic uncertainty, political divisions, and growing populism, 15 European democracies fell into dictatorships: Hungary, Italy, Bulgaria, Spain, Albania, Poland, Portugal, Yugoslavia, Lithuania, Romania, Germany, Austria, Estonia, Latvia and Greece.
These dictators came from all over the political spectrum but they used the same tool to rise to power: proportional representation. As pointed out in The Toronto Star: “No democracy that used first-past-the-post fell to dictatorship during the period.”
These extremists used the flaws of the prop rep system – too many parties, too little leadership – to pressure and eventually overtake mainstream political parties. And given today’s political environment of economic uncertainty, political divisions, and growing populism, there’s nothing to say it couldn’t happen again.
Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it!
Yet another reason to Stop Prop Rep! www.icba.ca/stopproprep
Pass this post on to your friends and family – David Eby’s draconian, anti-free speech rules won’t allow us to advertise it, but individuals can spread it as much as they like. Let’s make sure every British Columbian sees it.
And stay tuned for more “Tales of Prop Rep Horror”…
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #6 – “Indonesian Indecency”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #5 – “Beware the Greeks!”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #4 – “Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! NO! NO! NO!”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #3 – “From Russia With Blood”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #2 – “The Pain in Spain”
Tales of Prop Rep Horror #1 – “The Puzzle of Brussels”
There are new and significant changes coming regarding the legal status of cannabis, and we want to make sure you know how to handle them! We are pleased to bring a new breakfast session, Cannabis in the Workplace, to Burnaby on September 25.
Here’s what you’ll learn in this informative two-hour session:
- Learn more about the federal “Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations”.
- Understand that a “prescription” for cannabis does not give an employee the absolute right to use it in the workplace.
- Understand your rights when it comes to those in Safety-Sensitive positions.
- Discuss employee and employer obligations with regard to the use of cannabis.
- Recognize the rights, responsibilities and risks for both employers and employees to avoid unnecessary litigation.
- Identify the various ways the use of cannabis impacts the employer-employee relationship, and what you can do about it.
- Identify what employers should be doing now to prepare for the pending legalization by reviewing their workplace drug and alcohol policies.
We want to help you meet some of the challenges that you’ll face in the coming months, and answer your questions around the use of cannabis in the workplace. Register now at www.icba.ca/courses!