Today, John Horgan announced his commitment to get the most out of the NDP’s pledge to fund the mayor’s transit plan by committing to use local British Columbia skilled labour and create apprenticeship opportunities through a Project Labour Agreement.
“Projects don’t make a province – people do,” said Tom Sigurdson, Executive Director of the BC Building Trades. “The NDPs commitment to use local workers and employ apprentices is an important milestone in the development of our province.”
BC’s use of non-British Columbian construction workers on public projects has spanned well over a decade. From the Canada Line, when dozens of Costa Rican workers were exploited and paid less than $4 an hour to Site C today, which is employing hundreds of non-BC residents, while qualified British Columbians are available.
“The commitment by the BC NDP to use Project Labour Agreements in construction will guarantee opportunities for apprentices including First Nations and Women,” said Sigurdson. “This is not a union or non-union issue, this is about British Columbians getting the most out of public projects built in BC.”
Project Labour Agreements are not exclusive to unions. Governments across North America have used them successfully to guarantee local priorities in public construction. The Vancouver Island Hwy, the Lower Mainland Skytrain, and all of the major BC dams on the Peace and Columbia rivers (except Site C) were constructed under a PLA and employed many union and non-union contractors.