The B.C. economy is closely tied in with various trade agreements such as NAFTA, the Agreement on International Trade and the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWTA) between BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan which replaces the Trade Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA).
There is concern by those who represent workers that these agreements interfere with the ability of our provincial and local governments to control who gets the jobs.As I have mentioned so often in previous columns, NAFTA has had a negative impact on BC farmers. Prior to this agreement our vegetable and fruit growers were protected by in-season tarrifs which enabled them to make a profit. This is no longer the case.
A recent article in the online magazine the Tyee highlighted the fact that BC Hydro is spending approximately $1 billion on new transmission lines. However, most of the contracts have been awarded to two Alberta companies which are subsidiaries of Quanta Services from Texas. What so often happens is that these companies bring in their own workers from outside B.C., while the taxes they pay and the money they spend do not stay in our province.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) has written an open letter to BC’s Premier highlighting the following:
The Northwest Transmission Line: $525 million contract to build 344 km of new power lines, which will create 280 jobs,was awarded to Valard Construction, an Alberta company owned by Quanta from Texas.