Toronto mayoral candidate Brad Bradford took his campaign to a construction site in the city’s east end on Tuesday saying he would open up the competition process for construction contracts.
Accepting bids for construction contracts will help build infrastructure faster with more workers are working for the city, he said.
The construction industry has historically been a closed shop in Toronto, which is “bad for taxpayers, bad for accountability, and disastrous to our budget,” Bradford said.
“You pay more and there are fewer workers available for the work,” he said.
The city of Hamilton has proven how the plan can help with its 21 per cent increment in annual savings after opening for bids, he said.
Better competition will maximize the outcome for taxpayers, he said.
Another effort will be shortening construction time, he said.
“Projects take way too long in the city,” which has been “disastrous for the community,” he said.
“Real leadership is about working with everybody to get the things done that matters for Torontonians,” Bradford said at the campaign stop at 276 Main Street.
Bradford said his plan would save approximately $200 million annually, which will help close the $1.5 billion budget gap. The savings can then be used to build and better maintain the city’s infrastructure, he said.
Bradford said it’s important to address the budget shortfall and the massive financial pressure that come with it.
“This is common sense. This is a rational solution to address the challenges that we are facing,” he said.
He also referenced the ongoing delays with the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project which he called a “horror show, which is disastrous for the community.”
At the media event, Bradford was asked about how workers will be paid and protected under his plan.
Bradford said wages will not be cut because wages will be protected by a fair wage policy.
“We value the jobs,” he said, adding that both union and non-union workers will be educated about workplace safety because they will have get certification from the province’s Infrastructure Health and Safety Association.
He also took aim at one of his rivals for the city’s top job.
“Olivia Chow is the front runner and that is what’s concerning,” he said.
In Monday evening’s mayoral debate Chow proposed a tax hike for expensive homes.
Bradford said despite his pressing for answers, Chow has dodged questions about how big her tax hikes would be.
“Torontonians are smart, when you can’t answer those question, it’s all BS,” he said.
Bradford said he was surprised that Chow didn’t study the budget, and disappointed at how expensive the city will become.
“She’s going to strap your property tax bill to a rocket, and send it into outer space,” Bradford said.
The election of the new mayor will take place on June 26.