VICTORIA — Opponents of B.C.’s Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) policy are wanting every candidate running in the province’s upcoming election to say where they stand on the issue.
CLAC and the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA) have set up a website where workers can record if a local candidate supports or opposes the province’s CBA policy.
“There’s nothing fair or right about a government policy that shuts the vast majority of B.C. construction workers out of building taxpayer funded projects,” said Ryan Bruce, CLAC’s B.C. manager of government relations, in a press release. “Now is the time for candidates to come clean and be upfront about whether they support the rights of all workers, or just the NDP’s chosen few.”
The groups are encouraging workers reach out to every candidate in all 87 ridings. By press time, the B.C. Green Party had not taken a position, the BC Liberals have committed to halting CBAs, and the BC NDP plans to expand CBAs to cover more projects.
“All British Columbians are paying a heavy price for a jaded policy that unnecessarily raises the cost of key public infrastructure projects by hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Paul de Jong, president of the PCA. “Our campaign is aimed at raising public awareness about a terrible piece of public policy that impacts every voter in this province.”
CBAs are being used to build major public projects like the Pattullo Bridge Replacement project in Surrey and four-laning a stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway.
PCA and CLAC, along with other major construction associations and progressive unions, have called on Premier John Horgan government to do away the CBA policy and have been trying to fight the policy in court.
The government has repeatedly stated CBAs provide employment opportunities for local residents, Indigenous people and other equity-seeking groups, including women, people with disabilities and youth.
To view which candidates’ positions have been recorded for the project, visit protectworkersrights.ca.
Early voting is already underway in B.C. and election day is Oct. 24.