Bill 66, the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act, 2019, received royal assent April 3.
The most significant change for the construction industry will be amendments to the Labour Relations Act, 1995, which will deem public bodies as “non-construction employers.” This change allows these public entities to open bidding on construction contracts to all qualified companies, not just the unions they are affiliated with.
Public sector entities such as the cities of Toronto, Hamilton, Sault Ste. Marie and the Region of Waterloo, as well as school boards, hospitals, colleges and universities that were previously construction employers would now be open. However, the amendment allows councils or decision-makers to write to the Ministry of Labour within 90 days of royal assent to opt out and maintain the status quo.