Millwright Regional Council – Canada And MLA Ellis Ross, Skeena, British Columbia

Published On: April 11, 2024Categories: Press Release

Victoria, B.C. – The Millwright Regional Council – Canada met with MLA Ellis Ross Victoria, British Columbia on Wednesday April 10, 2024, to discuss tax fraud and the underground economy in Canada’s construction industry, and ways to partner together on this issue.

The underground economy in Canada’s construction industry undermines the countries fiscal position and hurts legitimate contractors. The residential construction industry accounted for 35.0% ($23.9 billion) of all underground economic activity which includes lessors of real estate 12.7% and retail trade 10.5% combined with accommodation and food services 7.3%.

“The underground economy in Canada’s construction industry undermines the countries fiscal position and hurts legitimate contractors. The primary driver of the underground economy is employers improperly classifying their workers as ‘Independent Operators’ rather than employees.”

Said Marcel Schaubs, MRC Business Representative, UBC Millwright Local 2736, Delta, British Columbia.

Most recent looks at the 2021 fiscal year which a Statistic Canada report that was release February 20, 2023; it increased by 4.8% in 2021 creating approximately $68.5 billion in underground economy activity in Canada or 2.7% of total GDP during this period.

Underground economic activity negatively affects economic growth in Canada. It also reduces tax revenues for all levels of government, putting pressure on the government’s ability to provide the services and benefits that Canadians enjoy and expect. Moreover, these illegal activities continue to erode Canadian’s faith in the integrity and fairness of Canada’s tax system, undermine the competitiveness of honest businesses, as well as cause honest taxpayers to bear the tax load of those who cheat.

Construction industry tax fraud cheats only invest in themselves, and those that undermine legislation, skirt workers health and safety protocols, and avoid WSIB often cut corners with safety too.

Tax fraud in construction makes job sites less safe because contractors who operate off the books or misclassify their employees as independent contractors cut corners and compromise the safety of workers, such as not paying appropriate Workers’ Compensation premiums.

We are encouraged by MLA Ellis Ross’s support to end construction industry tax fraud and working together towards solutions that reign in the underground economy.

The UBC Tax Fraud Days of Action is taking place across Canada and the United States April 13-19, 2024, to bring awareness to the issues of tax fraud and the underground economy.
Safety is our Highest Priority. Learn more at


About the Millwright Regional Council – Canada

The Millwright Regional Council – Canada (MRC) is composed of thirteen affiliated Local Unions of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBC) across Canada. UBC millwrights are vital partners in diverse industries such as energy, automotive, aerospace, food processing, and pharmaceuticals.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Andrew Bredin

Director of Communications
Millwright Regional Council – Canada