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pay more. Qualified contractors and their employees who live, work, pay tax in their community, are shut out from working on public infrastructure and that's not fair, said Harris.

creation program were certified.

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Harris said he has taken great effort to make sure his bill is not seen as anti union or partisan.

Harris said he is trying to get MPPs of all stripes to support his bill, which goes for second reading at Queen's Park on Sept. 19. He said he spoke with Sault MPP David Orazietti, a Liberal cabinet minister and former city councillor, about the bill on the weekend.

A representative from Labourers International Union Of North America Local 1036 did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Ian DeWaard, regional director of the Christian Labour Association of Canada, who travelled to the Sault with Harris, said his union, which also represents construction workers and tradespeople, has seen its members shut out of municipal construction contracts.

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don't get into the union/non union stuff. We set specifications, we make sure we're dealing with reputable firms and we try to get the best price we can so taxpayers get the best bang for their buck, said Fratesi. are the only considerations that we have. said the city and PUC are currently before the OLRB, defending the hiring of a non affiliated contractor to build the utility's new headquarters. Fratesi said the Labourers union is seeking compensation, alleging that while the city didn't award the contract, PUC is a related corporation.

are many large construction firms in our community that would have bid our work were it not for that clause, said Joe Fratesi, chief administrative officer.

cities in the same situation.

were probably four or five other large construction firms locally who would have been qualified but for that clause and would have, in fact, put in tenders, said Fratesi.

A private members bill could be the solution the city of Sault Ste. Marie has been looking for to get rid of a longstanding restriction that only certain unions can work on municipal building projects, says the city's top administrator.

The Sault's situation with off road construction projects dates back to a 1987 OLRB ruling in favour of the Labourers International Union and United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America after a group of workers building the city fish hatchery project under a government job Puma For Women 2018

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MPP touts bill to open city tenders

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large local contractors who are not in affiliation with those two unions in fact have not been able to bid city business, said Fratesi.

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to compete on an equal footing. He said the city would like to see construction projects operate under the same criteria as are used for purchasing vehicles and other city supplies.

Tom Cardinal, union coordinator for Local 2486, which as of 2010 represents Sault members of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, said he was not familiar with Harris' bill when contacted and did not offer comment.

He said the Heritage Discovery Centre at the Old Stone House, for which ground is to be officially broken Monday, is the latest example. Fratesi said only two local bidders qualified for the project.

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Harris' Bill 73 would exempt municipalities and school boards from provincial collective bargaining rules meant for firms in the construction industry, which Harris says have led to a situation where qualified union and non union firms are unfairly shut out from major taxpayer funded infrastructure contracts.

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Since then, the city has been required to only entertain tenders from firms represented by those two unions for all off road city construction projects, narrowing the field of potential bidders significantly, said Fratesi.

MPP Michael Harris, the Progressive Conservative member for Kitchener Conestoga, met with contractors and city representatives Thursday as he tours cities in the province affected by what he describes as a loophole that has allowed certain unions to go to the Ontario Labour Relations Board and cement exclusive deals with several municipalities in the province.

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we lose that one, that just makes Puma Shoes All Red this problem that much bigger, said Fratesi.

Fratesi said he doesn't see Harris' bill as anti union as it allows other unions Puma Shoes For Men New

A well publicized mix up meant the city's legal representative wasn't at the hearing, which went ahead anyway and was decided in the unions' favour. A later appeal was also denied.

Orazietti could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

Fratesi said what Harris is proposing has been the city's position since it found itself in this predicament more than 20 years ago. He said the situation has shut out otherwise qualified local contractors from bidding on projects including Essar Centre and the West End Community Centre.

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