Policy statements

May 2019

  • 1.0 General statements

    1.1 Freedom of enterprise

      • CCA supports an economic and political system based on free competitive enterprise and individual freedom.


    1.2 Environment
    CCA supports the concept of sustainable development, recognizing the need to balance environmental and economic considerations in the decision-making process.
    CCA supports the development and use of a fair, equitable and expedient Canadian environmental assessment and review process.


    1.3 Quality assurance and control program
    CCA supports the use of quality assurance and control programs to ensure quality (excellence) in construction projects.


    1.4 Research
    CCA advocates the need for research in construction and supports the Institute for Research in Construction, universities and other agencies engaged in such activities for the purpose of improving construction practices, materials, and safety, as well as the durability and cost of construction.


    1.5 Use of metric measurement
    CCA supports and advocates the use of the metric system of measurement in project designs and the specification of metric-sized products and materials on all construction projects within Canada.


    1.6 Distribution of construction opportunity information
    CCA believes that the provision of project information in Canada, as it has traditionally been, is a prime activity of construction associations. The dissemination and distribution of project and tender opportunity information/documents in support of the construction procurement process must be provided by organizations that have a true understanding of the bidding process and of the local, regional and national construction markets. Therefore, CCA advocates the use of plans room associations who are the most qualified and competent to fulfill this role in Canada.


    1.7 Corporate social responsibility
    CCA recognizes that corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a rapidly evolving issue and affects companies differently depending on their size, location and specialization. CCA recognizes the importance of CSR, and encourages companies to voluntarily undertake initiatives that enable them to operate in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable manner.


    1.8 Green buildings and green building efficiencies
    CCA supports green buildings and green building efficiencies and recommends that these objectives be sought and verified by the parties directly involved in the project through the normal building design commissioning and certification processes.


    1.9 Foreign money for domestic organizations and groups seeking to lobby the federal government
    CCA advocates for a ban on foreign money for domestic organizations and groups seeking to lobby the federal government that could have an impact on investor confidence in Canada and development and approval of projects.

  • 2.0 Free trade

    2.1 Free movement of construction materials, services and personnel within Canada

      • CCA supports the free and unfettered movement of construction materials, services and personnel within Canada and is opposed to all regional barriers and preference policies.


    2.2 Labour force mobility
    CCA advocates the right of qualified construction workers to seek employment in any region of Canada without any restrictions. Labour mobility should be supported, promoted and facilitated by such measures and programs as:

        • a. National apprenticeship and training standards for construction trades and occupations;


        • b. The Red Seal Program designed to provide inter-provincial recognition of apprentices and tradesperson qualifications; and/or,


        • c. Federal tax incentives and EI assistance, or similar measures.


    2.3 Reciprocity
    Reciprocity is paramount to the establishment and maintenance of a free-flowing international system of trade, both in terms of goods as well as services. CCA supports international free trade agreements, including provisions respecting government procurement.
    In this context, CCA supports the equal opportunity and access to government procured or government-funded infrastructure development and/or construction opportunities for foreign firms operating in Canada, provided reciprocal access is granted to Canadian firms in the respective foreign country.

  • 3.0 Infrastructure

    3.1 Core municipal infrastructure

      • CCA supports and promotes long-term, sustainable, transparent, and predictable federal investment in core municipal infrastructure.


      • CCA defines core municipal infrastructure as being: roads, highways, streets, sidewalks, lanes, bridges and structures; water distribution systems and treatment plants; waste water and sewage collection and treatment; power, garbage, and refuse facilities; airports; educational facilities; power and fiber optic networks and distribution systems; and urban transit systems.


    3.2 National highway system
    CCA supports and promotes the creation of a long-term, sustainable, transparent, predictable and permanent federal program designed to provide investment in Canada’s national highway program. This program must be based on the nation’s strategic needs and demands on the System and it must support the concept that all stretches of the national highway system ought to meet minimum ridership and engineering standards as defined by the council of ministers responsible for transportation.


    3.3 Strategic infrastructure investment
    CCA supports and promotes long-term, sustainable, transparent and predictable federal investment in Canada’s strategic infrastructure. CCA defines strategic infrastructure as being assets required to create new, or enhance existing, national economic, commercial or transportation activity.

  • 4.0 Industry practices

    4.1 Procurement of construction projects

      • CCA supports procurement of construction projects in an open and transparent manner in accordance with the procedures and practices recommended in CCDC 23 – A Guide to Calling Bids and Awarding Construction Contracts.


    4.2 Bidding and contract award practices
    CCA advocates the bidding and contract award practices and procedures outlined in CCDC 23 – A Guide to Calling Bids and Awarding Construction Contracts.


    4.3 Regional federal openings
    CCA maintains that bids for publicly funded projects should be deposited and publicly opened in the region where the work is to be performed.


    4.4 Minority preferences and set-aside programs
    CCA opposes any procurement practice or program that seeks to confer exclusive bidding rights to firms based upon any of the following characteristics: sex, race, religion, or geographic domicile within Canada of the principal owners of a firm, its employees or labour force.


    4.5 Contracting out/public sector competition
    CCA promotes the use by government of the private sector for construction and engineering services, as this practice serves to develop more private sector capability.
    CCA opposes government-owned or controlled entities competing for construction contracts.
    CCA opposes the government’s practice of supporting crown corporations that compete with the private sector.


    4.6 Reverse auctions
    CCA endorses the use of electronic procurement provided that it maintains the principles that are intrinsic to the construction bidding process and that it is intended to increase efficiency.
    CCA opposes the use of reverse auction.


    4.7 Firm price quotation
    CCA supports the principle that where owners seek firm price bids from contractors, it is essential that prices obtained by contractors for the supply of materials and equipment also be provided on a firm price basis.


    4.8 Conditional payment clauses
    CCA is opposed to payment provisions in construction contracts that make the prior receipt by one party of a payment, or advance from a third party, a condition precedent to any payment obligation to the other contracting party.


    4.9 Deficiency holdbacks
    CCA is opposed to the retention of funds to cover unidentified deficiencies or warranty items.


    4.10 Extended warranties
    CCA is opposed to requirement by Owners for extended warranty bonds beyond the standard one-year warranty period.


    4.11 CCA & CCDC standard documents
    CCA advocates the use of standard documents, developed and endorsed by the Association, as an effective means of promoting standard practices and procedures within the industry.
    CCA opposes the implementation of supplementary General Conditions which have the effect of altering or subverting the intent or the substance of standard documents.


    4.12 Use of bid depositories
    CCA supports the use of the bid depository system in those areas where Bid Depositories are in regular operation and are operating under rules and regulations endorsed by local professional and construction associations for those trades served by them.


    4.13 National Building Code
    CCA supports the general adoption of the National Building Code of Canada.


    4.14 Restrictive bidding practices by public owners
    CCA opposes the practice by public owners of excluding construction contracting firms and suppliers from bidding their projects, or otherwise penalizing them, solely because of past or current litigation or other contested disputes with that public owner, or other public owners.


    4.15 Payment
    CCA advocates contractual payment and related terms that are fair, reflecting the industry consensus expressed in CCDC and CCA standard documents. Further, CCA advocates that project owners, prime contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, payment certifiers and other stakeholders in the payment chain comply with all statutory/legal requirements and honour commitments and contractual obligations on time, and in the spirit of the following general principles:

        1. Contracting parties, both payers and payees, should be responsible for understanding all agreed contractual terms affecting obligations to make and entitlement to receive payment; and
        2. Project owners should share with others in a project payment chain the dates on which they make payments to prime contractors to enable parties to comply with and benefit from contract payment provisions with confidence.

    While CCA supports free competitive enterprise and individual freedom (CCA policy statement 1.1), CCA does not object in principle to the use of effective regulation and legislation where there is broad industry consensus that this is necessary in specific circumstances in order to correct imbalances or preserve an efficient and productive economic and commercial environment for the benefit of the whole construction industry.


    4.16 Community benefits
    CCA is opposed to using the procurement of construction services to advance unrelated community benefits and other public policy objectives where they jeopardize the integrity of the competitive bid system.

  • 5.0 Human resources

    5.1 EI support for apprentices

      • CCA advocates the need for the EI regime to support apprentices while in school.


    5.2 Under-represented groups in construction
    CCA advocates the entry of under-represented groups in all occupations within the construction industry and urges construction employers to remove all barriers to their employment. CCA opposes all forms of compulsory programs of employment equity, including any system of quotas.


    5.3 Immigration to Canada
    CCA supports a pro-active and effective immigration policy designed to help build a domestic labour supply for the industry’s future needs. A key feature of this policy ought to be the efficient use of foreign workers to meet temporary shortages when necessary.


    5.4 Labour relations
    CCA supports the right of every contractor to operate in the construction marketplace. CCA supports the maintenance of a healthy labour/management relationship, which will aid the Canadian economy and provide maximum productivity.


    5.5 Federal Fair Wages & Hours of Labour Act
    CCA considers the Federal Fair Wages & Hours of Labour Act as archaic statute in a provincial area of jurisdiction that has out-lived its intended purpose and urges that it now be repealed. While this legislation remains in force, CCA opposes the practice of issuing wage schedules as a means to effect compliance with the act’s fair wage provisions.


    5.6 Education & training
    CCA supports and promotes all proven industry educational and training programs for construction trades (e.g. apprenticeship) and management occupations (e.g. Gold Seal), and urges the widest possible acceptance of national standards and certification. CCA advocates the highest standards in all technical, professional, supervisory and management training. CCA urges the youth in Canada to consider career employment in the construction industry.


    5.7 Red Seal Program
    The CCA endorses the Red Seal Program and recommends its use as the national standard of certification in construction trades to ensure that the highest quality training standards are upheld.


    5.8 Safety
    CCA supports the establishment of programs to promote excellence in construction safety.