Include Locally Owned in Bidding for Government Contracts, CAW Says

October 27, 2009, 11:16 PM EST

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The CAW is outlining concern over a Town of Essex decision that will exclude a locally owned quarry from bidding on future government supply contracts.
CAW President Ken Lewenza outlines concerns in an October 7 letter to councilors of the southwestern Ontario town about the rules they have established for the stone used in road maintenance that are over and above provincial specifications.
"Amherst Quarries meets all the specifications required under the Ontario Provincial Specifications for granular, and it's beyond comprehension to understand why Essex council has established rules that prevent their access to the community market," Lewenza states.
He said the result is that aggregate material needed for maintenance projects is now bought outside the community and in some cases has been imported from foreign suppliers in the United States.
"Spending by governments is a key part of the overall economy," Lewenza said. "Why would Essex Council not provide vital tax dollars to a project 'identified as a priority in Essex County that will create jobs and help build a stronger community,' but instead contribute to the local economy's erosion and further job loss?"
Lewenza urged councilors to remove the restrictive specifications placed on the purchase of aggregate material for municipal maintenance projects.
"In addition to all the common sense arguments about why the Town of Essex should use Amherst Quarries stone, is the fact this employer has a long history of giving back to the surrounding communities," said CAW national representative Mickey Bertrand. "This company has donated stone to community projects and money to many worthwhile causes over the years," he said.
"Obviously, purchasing stone from Amherst Quarries also supports good paying jobs, providing wages, benefits and job security to CAW members who work there."  

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