Key Issues: National

National: Key Advocacy Platforms

  1. Free & Fair Trade: Canada’s current trade policies and agreements allow our trading partners to have open access to our markets, while many of them deny Canadian manufacturers equal and reciprocal access to their markets.  Some of our trading partners engage in unfair trade practices, and do not have the same rigorous environmental and safety standards or wages as Canada.  This creates an unfair trade environment for Canadian steel manufacturers. We consider it vital to ensure that Canadian manufacturers are able to access, compete, and thrive in an open, competitive, free and fair global marketplace.  As such, we are proposing the adoption of a Federal Reciprocal Procurement Act based on the following foundational principles:
  • Principles for a Proposed Federal Reciprocal Procurement Act
    • The Federal government supports the concept of free and fair trade.
    • The Federal government supports the concept of reciprocal procurement.
    • The Federal government, while respecting current trade agreements, reserves the right to prohibit government procurement of products and services from a foreign country (and/or state within) that restricts or limits access of Canadian suppliers and manufacturers.
  1. Infrastructure investment and local procurement: This is a key government priority which includes a commitment to spend up to $125 billion over 10 years on federal and municipal infrastructure, including over $5.0 billion in 2016-2017.
    • The Federal government needs to put minimum Canadian and regional/local content requirements on all infrastructure spending (Federal and sub-Federal) in order to truly benefit the local communities and Canada in general while respecting any existing trade obligations.
    • The Federal Government needs to enact procurement practices that hold foreign bidders to the same standards as Canadian companies bidding for the same work (e.g. minimum wage, environmental and safety standards)
    • The Federal Government’s procurement evaluation of foreign bidders should incorporate the cost of “lost money to the economy, jobs, taxes and spin off industries” into the bid assessment process. “Cheaper is not Cheaper”.
    • The Federal government should exclude, disqualify and/or reject any bid coming from a country, state or region outside of Canada that does not permit Canadian supply of a similar product or service.
  1. Federal Prompt Payment Legislation:
    • Prompt payment is one of the biggest issues impacting the construction industry. The ability of trade contractors to be paid in a timely fashion for services rendered is critical to ensuring the long-term survival and growth of these small to mid-sized enterprises, their ability to support employment and job growth, and investments in machinery, innovation and our future workforce.
    • Delayed payments are an existentialist threat to construction trade contractors who collectively employ over 80% of the construction industry workforce in Canada.
    • The majority of U.S. states, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand have enacted prompt payment legislation to counter late payment practices.
    • The CISC strongly supports the Federal Prompt Payment Legislation proposed by the NTCCC (National Trade Contractors Coalition of Canada) that is being brought to the Senate.
    • The Need for a Prompt Payment Act in Federal Government Construction
    • View full text of Bill S 224 here