BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson and MLA John Martin, the BC Liberal Labour Critic, said on Tuesday that they are standing with construction workers and organizations snubbed by John Horgan’s Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) scheme after over 100 workers showed up at the Legislature to protest.
“Community Benefits Agreements are nothing more than a taxpayer-funded payback to a small group of unions handpicked by John Horgan and the NDP,” said Wilkinson. “Contractors and union members from across the province have shown up here today seeking answers from John Horgan and the NDP as to why they are being prevented from working on public infrastructure projects and he owes them an answer.”
An analysis by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) shows that CBAs could add as much as $4.8 billion more to the cost of public infrastructure projects, which equates to nearly $4,000 for every family in the province.
“John Horgan’s CBA scheme has already cost British Columbians over $200 million in project overruns as construction costs on public projects continue to skyrocket,” added Martin. “The BC Liberals stand with the thousands of workers cut out of government projects as well as all British Columbians who are now seeing their tax dollars funnelled into the coffers of NDP union donors.”
The Illicillewaet and Kicking Horse Canyon highway expansions have seen cost overruns of 143 per cent and 33 per cent respectively, costing taxpayers $200 million more than when the projects were first announced by the BC Liberals. The NDP have also estimated that under their CBA scheme, the Pattullo Bridge expansion will cost a minimum of $100 million additional taxpayer dollars.
“Under CBAs, 85 per cent of British Columbia’s construction workforce is excluded from working on public projects. We believe that no British Columbian should be prevented from working in their own province just because their union doesn’t donate to the NDP,” said Wilkinson. “We are proud to stand with these workers today and demand that John Horgan start to look after everyone in this province, not just his friends and union insiders.”