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Ironworkers outraged after Quebec company wins B.C. Place Stadium roof contract

Richard Gilbert

B.C. ironworkers are outraged that a Quebec-based company has been awarded a $100 million contract for the construction of the new roof for B.C. Place stadium in Vancouver.

B.C. ironworkers are outraged that a Quebec-based company has been awarded a $100 million contract for the construction of the new roof for B.C. Place Stadium in Vancouver.

Structal-Heavy Steel Construction (Structal), which is a business unit of Canam Group Inc., won the contract for the construction of the world’s largest cable-supported retractable roof from PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc.

“This is a terrible day for the B.C. economy and a disastrous decision by the B.C. government and PAVCO (BC Place Pavilion Corporation) to export hundreds of jobs from our province,” said Rene Watteel, Business Manager for Ironworkers Local 712.

“It’s outrageous that B.C. taxpayers are stimulating the economies of Washington State and Quebec and foreign countries instead of doing the work here in B.C. and creating jobs and investment at a time of economic recession,” Watteel said.

In a press release Canam said the steel components for the project will be fabricated by plants in St. Gédéon de Beauce, QC, and Sunnyside, WA, as well as by local and international subcontractors.

However, the erection of the roof will be done for the most part by local manpower.

PAVCO negotiated a $458 million fixed-price contract with PCL Westcoast Constructors Inc., which will assume responsibility for the delivery of the roof.

Watteel said the Ironworkers Local 712 hopes that the B.C. government might reconsider the decision if it receives enough of a negative reaction from British Columbians. PAVCO is a government agency.

Construction involves the roof replacement, engineering cost and planning and the creation of a temporary facility to accommodate the BC Lions and the Vancouver White Caps.

The contract includes design-assist, detailing and project management services, as well as the fabrication and erection of the structural steel and cables for the retractable roof.

Watteel said the decision by PAVCO would cost 150 direct and hundreds more indirect jobs in B.C.

PAVCO is required to look for bids on an open basis, which means qualified contractors across the country are invited to bid.

Canam Group and Structal have been associated with many other stadium and arena construction projects for Major League teams, including the New York Yankees, Mets, Giants, Jets and Red Bulls, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the New England Patriots, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Ottawa Senators and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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