December 20 2018 Blog

The Low-Down on Construction – December 20, 2018

2018 was a big year for MERIT, one that we can all be proud of. While we have continued to see some headwinds in the construction sector generally, there have been a number of bright spots in the world of advocacy.

To start, I want to say thank you to our members for their support of not only MERIT as an organization, but for our founding principle – fairness. Fairness to be able to start and run your company, fairness to earn your living as an open shop, and fairness to be treated equally. 

Second I want to say that advocacy works! This year we have seen several very important pieces of government policy come together to help strengthen our industry, and to build fairness into the system. MERIT has been involved with and leading the charge on many important fronts.

Earlier this fall, the government introduced prompt payment legislation that will reduce the risk and liability carried by contractors. Now you can focus on what you do best – building our great province – rather than spending time trying to collect the money you are owed.

For several years now, MERIT has been hard at work making the case for reform at the Worker’s Compensation Board and we are pleased to see some of our recommendations are now being implemented.  Recent changes announced by the government align with MERIT’s recommendations, namely that the Board structure and size be modernized and that an Employer Resource Centre be introduced.   We hope that both these enhancements will create positive change for contractors dealing with the WCB.

MERIT is also at the forefront of ensuring public procurement does not unfairly penalize open shop employers and employees, and unfairly favour union-only companies. We were first to raise the issue with the government about “Project Labour Agreements” (sometimes called “Community Benefit Agreements”) that try to block open shop employers from bidding on government projects.  MERIT’s stand is that any sort of restrictive or closed tendering will not be supported in our province. We will continue to stand up for you on this issue.

From our families to yours, Merry Christmas!  We encourage you to stay tuned in the new year for more news on the issues that affect you and your business.