The Government of British Columbia recently introduced the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) to regulate large publicly funded infrastructure projects in B.C. Infrastructure projects submitted to the CBA require employees of these projects to join certain unions. ABOUT THE AUTHORMatthew Raffol is studying social administration in his second year. Before participating in the SSA, he worked as a counselor in the hospitalization of adolescents. He also has a short background in philanthropy, which aims to organize communities. In his current field internship, he leads public relations and engagement with people experiencing homelessness and severe and persistent mental illness. Matthew has a B.S. from Boston College where he studied psychology and management in economics. Currently, he lives and works as an intern in the full-time volunteer community of the Franciscan Outreach Association, a social service provider for people affected by homelessness. However, a bill that goes through the Senate can be passed by CBAs across the country: if Bill C-344, introduced by Liberal MP Ramesh Sangha, is passed, it would give the Minister of Public Services, Procurement and Accessibility the power to require government contractors to provide information about the community benefits that could result from the project.
(British Columbia already has a CBA framework.) Community performance agreements were concluded in form and function as a result of particular historical circumstances. Understanding this history offers an important correction to view CBAs as an ahistorical phenomenon or as a neutral development tool. The location of CBAs in this historical context sheds light on the logic behind the form they have adopted and the functions they have performed. This understanding, in turn, highlights the consequences of the dominant urban political economy and suggests how CBAs can contribute to the reconstitution of urban power dynamics and modes of governance. The creation of the CBA and BCIB indicates that there will be significant changes in administration and labour relations in B.C infrastructure projects. Companies applying for contracts submitted to the CBA must take into account the impact of new working and management structures as they develop. Over the past two and a half decades, Community Benefits Agreements (BCAs) have crystallized as a vehicle for people in low-income communities to benefit from urban development projects. This document places CBAs in their historical context.
It argues that the contemporary political economy of urban development has marked its form and function in a distinctive way. She theorizes CBA as hyperlocal civil sector reactions to uneven growth and market failures in the crucible of the city`s neoliberal government. The paper concludes that, although BACs offer only limited promise for equitable urban development, their organizational processes disrupt existing power structures and create opportunities for further reform of the dynamism of urban development. Regardless of this, most cities in today`s urban political economy have blamed individuals for curbing unbalanced growth. These people have the opportunity to form coalitions to exercise some power in the development process, as they did for the CBAs. Of course, these people must have the resources to make significant organizational efforts that ultimately do not provide guarantees. In the past, CBAs have been hampered by a lack of community representation, opaque negotiation processes, unilateral action by coalition members, weak sanctions for non-compliance with developers, lack of specificity or non-enforcement of contract terms, and developer disinterest (Salkin and Lavine 2008). . .