Lumber put to Que. builders But act’s impact will take time
The Ottawa Sun – March 11 2002
By Derek Abma,
Today is the first weekday of the Ontario government’s tough new crackdown on Quebec construction workers — part of the Fairness is a Two Way Street Act.
The regulations, a response to Quebec’s treatment of Ontario workers and contractors, place a number of restrictions and barriers on Quebecers wanting a piece of Ontario’s construction pie.
Saturday was the first day of enforcement, but being a slow workday, there were few signs of any crackdown.
Jocelyn Dumais, president of the Quebec-based Association for the Right to Work, also said the Ontario crackdown on Quebec workers will not immediately be felt here.
He said he hopes the Quebec government grants fairness to Ontario workers so the Ontario government will ease up on Quebec workers.
« The real impact is the workers, » he said. « If we can’t get access to the workers, then there could be the threat of a real slowdown in about 7-8 weeks. »
John DeVries, president of the Ottawa Construction Association, said it will probably be about two months before there’s a significant impact.
DeVries noted that restrictions won’t apply to agreements signed before Saturday.
Under the new regulations, Quebec contractors are banned from bidding on projects associated with the Ontario government. Quebec contractors must also pay up to $10,000 in security fees and $1,000 in registration fees to work in Ontario. Quebec workers must pay $100 registration fees and provide proof of their professional credentials to work in Ontario.
The Quebec government has said it will help workers get registered. If this goes smoothly, DeVries said most of the 5,000 workers from Quebec who have been working in Ottawa will continue to do so. He said most contractors would probably also be able to keep working in Ontario.