Union activist, NDP donor appointed to B.C.I.B. board

Union activist, NDP donor appointed to B.C.I.B. board

Postby Pete Podoski » Jan 8th, 2019, 9:16 am

Union activist, NDP donor appointed to board overseeing union closed-shop agreement

NDP director says big money out of politics

Jeremy Hainsworth / Glacier Media
JANUARY 4, 2019 03:10 PM

A B.C. labour union activist who personally or with affiliated unions gave $130,000 to the NDP over 13 years is now on the provincial board overseeing public construction projects now restricted to union-only workers.

Gary Kroeker, a retired International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) business manager and past BC Federation of Labour board member, is one of seven appointees to the BC Infrastructure Benefits Inc. board (BCIB). Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevana made the announcement Jan. 2.

Kroeker’s union represents construction workers working as heavy equipment operators, mechanics and surveyors, workers employed in major construction projects.

Kroeker could not be reached for comment.

BCIB is the Crown corporation overseeing the Community Benefit Agreement (CBA) announced in July making B.C. a union-only shop for large public infrastructure projects like bridges and roads. And, it’s a case the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade has warned will inflate costs of large projects.

BCIB was established by the NDP in July 2018 to build the new Pattullo Bridge and projects within the Trans-Canada Four-Laning program.

Its mandate is to lead the recruitment, hiring and co-ordination of skilled labour for these projects, in addition to human resources, employee relations, identifying training needs and performance measurement.

NDP provincial director Raj Sihota said in a statement to Glacier Media that Kroeker’s appointment was based on merit.


Sihota said the appointment on merit was “demonstrated today by the appointment of board members with significant construction experience, including BC Liberal supporters.”

According to the NDP, the situation has little to do with political contributions.

And, Sihota said, the government has already “delivered on its promise to get big money out of our politics.”

The NDP has banned union and corporate donations to political parties and limited individual donations to $1,200. And, it has proposed public subsidies for parties.

The NDP pledged to remove big money from politics in the 2017 election campaign. And, it signed the May 2017 Confidence and Supply Agreement, through which the BC Green Party supports the NDP, which states that the government would “eliminate any other means by which individuals or entities may wield undue influence over government.”


Liberal transportation and infrastructure critic Jordan Sturdy supported Sihota’s argument appointments to the board were made on merit.

He said the CBA the board will oversee is the contentious issue.

“I fail to see how this group is going to provide value for the taxpayers of British Columbia,” Sturdy said.

Neither Premier John Horgan nor Trevana were available for comment.
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Re: Union activist, NDP donor appointed to B.C.I.B. board

Postby The Green Barbarian » Jan 8th, 2019, 9:30 am

Justin Trudeau or Kathleen Wynne - who was the bigger troglodyte?

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Re: Union activist, NDP donor appointed to B.C.I.B. board

Postby dontrump » Jan 8th, 2019, 1:02 pm

public construction projects now restricted to union-only workers.

this should be and always should have been illegal

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