|The NDP government of John Horgan is about to change how BC|
approaches the development of public infrastructure projects
(photo from BC Gov't)
The NDP government is going to take a new approach towards development of public-sector infrastructure projects in the province, introducing a new framework agreement on Monday to guide the process forward.
The initiative which the NDP says will create good jobs and new opportunities for those that have not had a strong representation in the trades will put a focus on a number of key elements ...
A targeted approach to maximizing apprenticeship opportunities on major public-infrastructure projects.
Focus on priority hiring and training of Indigenous peoples, and women.
Co-ordinated access to existing training programs, while identifying and addressing skills gaps.
Priority hiring for qualified individuals who live within close proximity of the projects. Hiring flexibility for contractors, who can request named hires.
Wage alignment to prevailing industry rates to promote good wages for all employees.
The first project to take place under the new community benefit agreement will be the new Pattullo Bridge Replacement project which will link New Westminster and Surrey and a four lane expansion project on the Trans Canada Highway between Kamloops and the Alberta border.
Premier John Horgan outlined how he sees the new Community Benefits Agreement and the impact it will have on the way the province develops infrastructure.
“British Columbians rightfully expect B.C. projects to benefit B.C. workers, families and communities. Our new Community Benefits Agreement will help deliver those benefits,” ... “With this agreement, we’re not just investing in roads, bridges and other infrastructure, we’re investing in good jobs and new opportunities for people who live in B.C. And with our focus on expanding apprenticeships for young British Columbians, we’re helping build B.C.’s next generation of construction workers.”
The major thrust of the agreement is to increase participation for Indigenous and other under represented groups in the construction trades, as well as to increase the opportunity for local residents to gain employment on the large scale projects.
|Who the BC Government says will benefit from the new agreement|
(click to enlarge)
The new program will be administered by a newly created Crown Corporation, to be known as BC Infrastructure Benefits, which in effect will become the central recruitment hall for anyone looking to find employment on the infrastructure work in the province.
|To implement the new program the NDP government is|
introducing a new Crown Corporation
(click to enlarge)
More background on the NDP's plans can be found here.
North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice was quick to get the word out for the Premier and the NDP cabinet, taking to her social media stream to raise the flag for the new initiative.
Monday's announcement has made for a significant volume of commentary on the shift in direction for the province and how it will seek infrastructure development in the future, with much of the focus directed towards the union-friendly language and guarantees that the framework has delivered.
Among some of the concerns relayed about the new approach is a fear of cost expansions with the added level of bureaucracy of a Crown Corporation, the prospect of non-union firms being shut out of any opportunity to work on such projects and the perception that the NDP is rewarding its supporters in the trades unions with the infrastructure program.
You can review the talking points on the day below:
BC NDP announces Crown corporation to handle union-friendly construction
NDP launches new labour agreement for public projects
Horgan rewards old union friends, as promised
Union labour to build billions in B.C. projects under new NDP policy
Non union builders protest exclusion from B.C. public projects
New BC Crown Corporation begins accepting bids for Patullo Bridge replacement
Crown firm will control major project hiring, we'll pay more
Public infrastructure projects to be union-only
Critics say new B.C. NDP labour model for infrastructure projects is 'payback' for unions
B.C. government to prioritize First Nations, women, unions in public construction projects
For more items of interest out of the British Columbia Legislature see our archive page here.
A wider overview of provincial politics can be found on our D'Arcy McGee portal.
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