CFN – Today, local contractors and the Greater Ottawa Truckers’ Association welcomed MPP Jim McDonell and MPP Jack MacLaren to Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry to discuss MPP MacLaren’s Bill 80, Fairness Is a Two-Way Street Act, 2013, during a demonstration at the Ontario-Quebec border on Highway 2. Originally introduced by the Harris Government in 1999, the Fairness is a Two-Way Street Act addressed the barriers Ontario workers faced when wishing to work in Quebec by placing an equal burden on Quebeccontractors wishing to carry out work in Ontario. The original Act was repealed by the Liberal Government in 2006 due to the ratification of the Labour Mobility Agreement, which Quebec has yet to implement fully.
MPP McDonell commented: “Real labour mobility ensures the Canadian workforce can prosper across provincial boundaries. However,Quebec places unfair restrictions on out-of-province workers and contractors which are not reflected in Ontario law, placing Ontarians at a disadvantage. This impacts my constituents particularly strongly due to our proximity to the border. Ontario’s truck drivers, carpenters, electricians, and plumbers are just some of skilled trades people who are prevented from working in Quebec, while they watch Quebec workers prosper on Ontario job sites. Fair is fair, and it is time for Quebec to open up their borders to out-of-province workers, so that Ontarians and Canadians as a whole will benefit.”
MPP Jack MacLaren added: “Unquestionably, Canadians should be free to work in any part of our country. However the Quebec Government has created a never ending tangled web of requirements and regulations for the sole purpose of keeping Ontario workers out of the Quebec market. Ontario construction workers are being shut out. Fairness must be a two-way street.”
Bill 80 will restrict Quebec-based contractors and workers from bidding on and signing private and public contracts for work unless they register with the Director of the Jobs Protection Office, provide financial statements, and pay set fees and security bonds.
Standing at the border marker, Ron Barr, General Manager of the Greater Ottawa Truckers’ Association, summed up the challenges faced by Ontario workers:
“We go over there. We’re compliant. We get stopped. They go over here, they’re not even checked.”
Bill 80 is scheduled for Second Reading on September 12, 2013.
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