June 1, 2020
The BC Building Trades isn’t surprised by a new survey that finds most British Columbians support Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs) and want to see them applied to public infrastructure projects as part of the province’s economic recovery plan.
“CBAs ensure there is high value for public investment, so it makes sense that public support for them is consistently high,” said Andrew Mercier, BCBT’s executive director.
CBAs prioritize jobs for local residents and ensure employment opportunities for apprentices, Indigenous workers and women, and provide union wages and benefits.
“CBAs can play a role in economic recovery through training new and displaced workers and providing them with the skills they need to access family-supporting jobs,” said Mercier.
The online survey conducted by Research Co. found that 74 per cent of British Columbians support CBAs, and 77 per cent agree with using them to help the province recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
That’s a four per cent increase in support from August 2018 when Research Co. initially polled British Columbians about CBAs.
CBAs also have widespread support across political lines. Although CBAs were introduced by the provincial NDP government, the level of support for CBAs among people who voted Green in the last election is the highest at 83 per cent, followed by people who voted NDP or Liberal, at 79 per cent and 71 per cent, respectively.
Most Green voters (84 per cent) also support using CBAs as part of B.C.’s economic recovery plan from COVID-19, compared to 81 per cent of NDP voters and 76 per cent of Liberal voters.
“This survey tells us that British Columbians want to get the most out of public infrastructure dollars,” adds Mercier. “They want to see tangible benefits for their communities – like job growth, local hire and a legacy of skills training for current and future generations.”