Response to the Province’s Community Benefits Agreement Announcement
At the federal, local, and provincial levels, Community Benefit Agreements are seen by government as a way to solve social issues.
Following the government’s announcement on the Community Benefits Agreement, BCCA is very concerned about a potentially limiting approach that may layer on costs and reduce competitive bidding on provincial infrastructure projects.
BCCA is non-partisan, supporting open-shop and union employers, and strongly opposes any procurement practice or program which seeks to confer exclusive bidding rights to firms based upon any system of quotas or legislated wages within the province.
The agreement’s approach to maximizing opportunities for both equity-seeking groups as well as apprenticeships can be valuable; however, it is extremely important that the government proceeds with caution to avoid any unintended negative consequences for both the construction sector and taxpayers.
The government is focusing on inclusivity through support for indigenous and local communities, women and apprentices. But British Columbians may not benefit when 80% of the construction workforce—which is non-union—could face potential barriers to participate in multi-billion dollar public projects.
BCCA is working with our counterparts at the local, provincial and national levels to inform government on the risks of Community Benefit Agreements, and to educate public owners on the use of fair, open, and transparent procurement processes which are an obligation and responsibility of government to taxpayers.
(250) 475 1077
(250) 475 1077