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Quebec willing to negotiate issue of construction workers

HULL, Que. -- Quebec's labor minister, Jean Rochon, says he's ready to keep negotiating with Ontario on the issue o...

HULL, Que. — Quebec’s labor minister, Jean Rochon, says he’s ready to keep negotiating with Ontario on the issue of mobility of construction workers.

Amid reports Ontario Premier Mike Harris will impose sanctions on construction companies and workers from Quebec, Rochon calls the situation unacceptable.

He adds he is not willing to go to the table with Ontario if it is going to be under a veil of threats and coercion. Rochon says that if both provinces sit down and continue the open discussions that were started last December, the issue can be solved rapidly.

Under new regulations that take effect Mar. 1, Quebec companies will be barred from bidding on publicly funded Ontario projects like hospitals and schools.

They will also have to register with a new office and post a $10,000 security deposit if the firms want to bid on private construction projects.

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