Closed tendering should be an issue

Opinion Dec 06, 2017 by Hardy Willms Waterloo Chronicle

In a recent column in the Chronicle, Ian McLean wrote about the problems of closed tendering in the bidding of public projects.

School boards, cities, and other government entities are forced to accept only bids from companies that are unionized. This leads to fewer bids and out of town companies winning more contracts.

Local non-unionized companies that pay local taxes cannot even bid.

McLean points out that in Toronto alone $174 million could be saved if the bidding process was opened. Contracts are 10 per cent to 30 per cent higher because of this law. Why does such an archaic law exist?

It should surprise no one that the Ontario Liberals are behind this. Premier Wynne and her party continue to use taxpayer money to seek re-election.

They could change the law but are so heavily supported by unions that they choose not to. Between 2013 and 2015, the United Association of Plumbers & Pipefitters and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners were the biggest donators to the Ontario Liberals giving almost a combined $975,988. As a thank-you for the union’s donations, the Ontario Liberals keep this law on the books and it costs every Ontarian hundreds of millions every year.

Every time you think that the Ontario Liberal Party can’t reach a lower level of moral depravity, they surprise you with something new.

The Region of Waterloo is one of the governments that can only accept bids from unionized companies.

There is a way to get exempted from this closed shop rule though. A municipality can get itself declared a “non-construction employer” if it doesn’t bill for construction-type activities for at least three years.

In 2014, the Region fixed a toilet and billed the tenant $300 at one of its buildings. This meant that the Region continued to be classified as a construction employer.

As absurd as this sounds, this is the reality in union friendly Ontario thanks to the Ontario Liberals. Will the Regional government continue the fight to be exempted from accepting only union backed construction bids?

Regional Chair Ken Seiling tells us his government has no plans to get out of this arrangement. No surprise here. Many regional councilors have strong union ties. Why go through all that work to be exempt and upset the unions when you can just make a motion and raise your arm to increase taxes.

The Region just stated that they will increase taxes 3 per cent in 2018 after raising them 3 per cent in 2017, which in both years is twice the rate of inflation.

The election for the Region is less than a year away and councillors have to be held accountable for not trying to save taxpayers millions of dollars. 


Closed tendering should be an issue

Opinion Dec 06, 2017 by Hardy Willms Waterloo Chronicle

In a recent column in the Chronicle, Ian McLean wrote about the problems of closed tendering in the bidding of public projects.

School boards, cities, and other government entities are forced to accept only bids from companies that are unionized. This leads to fewer bids and out of town companies winning more contracts.

Local non-unionized companies that pay local taxes cannot even bid.

McLean points out that in Toronto alone $174 million could be saved if the bidding process was opened. Contracts are 10 per cent to 30 per cent higher because of this law. Why does such an archaic law exist?

It should surprise no one that the Ontario Liberals are behind this. Premier Wynne and her party continue to use taxpayer money to seek re-election.

They could change the law but are so heavily supported by unions that they choose not to. Between 2013 and 2015, the United Association of Plumbers & Pipefitters and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners were the biggest donators to the Ontario Liberals giving almost a combined $975,988. As a thank-you for the union’s donations, the Ontario Liberals keep this law on the books and it costs every Ontarian hundreds of millions every year.

Every time you think that the Ontario Liberal Party can’t reach a lower level of moral depravity, they surprise you with something new.

The Region of Waterloo is one of the governments that can only accept bids from unionized companies.

There is a way to get exempted from this closed shop rule though. A municipality can get itself declared a “non-construction employer” if it doesn’t bill for construction-type activities for at least three years.

In 2014, the Region fixed a toilet and billed the tenant $300 at one of its buildings. This meant that the Region continued to be classified as a construction employer.

As absurd as this sounds, this is the reality in union friendly Ontario thanks to the Ontario Liberals. Will the Regional government continue the fight to be exempted from accepting only union backed construction bids?

Regional Chair Ken Seiling tells us his government has no plans to get out of this arrangement. No surprise here. Many regional councilors have strong union ties. Why go through all that work to be exempt and upset the unions when you can just make a motion and raise your arm to increase taxes.

The Region just stated that they will increase taxes 3 per cent in 2018 after raising them 3 per cent in 2017, which in both years is twice the rate of inflation.

The election for the Region is less than a year away and councillors have to be held accountable for not trying to save taxpayers millions of dollars. 


Closed tendering should be an issue

Opinion Dec 06, 2017 by Hardy Willms Waterloo Chronicle

In a recent column in the Chronicle, Ian McLean wrote about the problems of closed tendering in the bidding of public projects.

School boards, cities, and other government entities are forced to accept only bids from companies that are unionized. This leads to fewer bids and out of town companies winning more contracts.

Local non-unionized companies that pay local taxes cannot even bid.

McLean points out that in Toronto alone $174 million could be saved if the bidding process was opened. Contracts are 10 per cent to 30 per cent higher because of this law. Why does such an archaic law exist?

It should surprise no one that the Ontario Liberals are behind this. Premier Wynne and her party continue to use taxpayer money to seek re-election.

They could change the law but are so heavily supported by unions that they choose not to. Between 2013 and 2015, the United Association of Plumbers & Pipefitters and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners were the biggest donators to the Ontario Liberals giving almost a combined $975,988. As a thank-you for the union’s donations, the Ontario Liberals keep this law on the books and it costs every Ontarian hundreds of millions every year.

Every time you think that the Ontario Liberal Party can’t reach a lower level of moral depravity, they surprise you with something new.

The Region of Waterloo is one of the governments that can only accept bids from unionized companies.

There is a way to get exempted from this closed shop rule though. A municipality can get itself declared a “non-construction employer” if it doesn’t bill for construction-type activities for at least three years.

In 2014, the Region fixed a toilet and billed the tenant $300 at one of its buildings. This meant that the Region continued to be classified as a construction employer.

As absurd as this sounds, this is the reality in union friendly Ontario thanks to the Ontario Liberals. Will the Regional government continue the fight to be exempted from accepting only union backed construction bids?

Regional Chair Ken Seiling tells us his government has no plans to get out of this arrangement. No surprise here. Many regional councilors have strong union ties. Why go through all that work to be exempt and upset the unions when you can just make a motion and raise your arm to increase taxes.

The Region just stated that they will increase taxes 3 per cent in 2018 after raising them 3 per cent in 2017, which in both years is twice the rate of inflation.

The election for the Region is less than a year away and councillors have to be held accountable for not trying to save taxpayers millions of dollars.