The Low-Down on Construction – November 25, 2019

MERIT Contractors welcomes Minister Catherine McKenna in her new role leading Infrastructure Canada, and we look forward to working with her here in Saskatchewan.

Our province has put forward a list of projects that they want to prioritize by working with their counterparts at the federal level, and MERIT has highlighted the need for investments in the infrastructure deficit left over from previous governments, infrastructure for today, and building for the infrastructure our province will need in the future.

In addition to calling on all levels of government to work together to deliver the infrastructure investments our province needs today and tomorrow, MERIT has also been leading the fight to ensure that public projects remain open to all qualified bidders, and not be restricted to a narrow, list of preferred contractors.

As noted above, MERIT believes that public projects should be open to all qualified bidders. In Saskatchewan 85% of all contractors and workers work in open-shop companies. In some provinces, like British Columbia, governments have been restricting public procurement to closed shop contractors only, freezing out the overwhelming majority of workers and contractors. This has been shown to drive up costs and take longer to complete projects. Restricting who can bid on public projects unfairly penalizes most contractors including smaller and local ones in favour of larger corporations, or ones from out of province.

MERIT is calling on the federal government to keep the door open to all qualified bidders with procurement without prejudice so our members can keep building our province, and keep our province working.