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Contractor Jon Coleman is BC United’s candidate in Cowichan Valley

Provincial election slated for October, 2024
Cowichan Tribes contractor Jon Coleman announced he is the candidate for the Cowichan Valley for BC United in the next provincial election surrounded by MLAs at a news conference on Dec. 11. Pictured, from left, are Ellis Ross, MLA for Skeena, Michael Lee, MLA For Vancouver-Langara, Greg Kyllo, MLA for Shuswap, Coleman, Steve Housser, BC United’s riding association president for Cowichan Valley, and Mike Bernier, MLA For Peace River South. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Cowichan Tribes contractor Jon Coleman will be BC United’s candidate for Cowichan Valley in the next provincial election.

Coleman, owner of Jon-Co Contracting, was one of the leaders of the 11-day work stoppage at the construction site of the new $1.4-billion Cowichan District Hospital on Bell McKinnon Road last December.

A number of the contract companies working at the site and their employees were protesting the fact that BC Infrastructure Benefits, the provincial Crown corporation that provides the qualified skilled trades workforce for the construction of public infrastructure projects, refused Cowichan Tribes’ economic development arm, Khowutzun Development Corporation, a permit to continue to work at the site.

The reason was that none of KDC’s companies and workers were members of unions accepted by the corporation.


Work resumed at the hospital site on Dec. 13, 2022, after it was decided that KDC companies were eligible to bid for work on the Cowichan hospital site without having to unionize, but the dispute was largely unresolved as far as Coleman and many of the other KDC contractors were concerned.

Coleman has continued to advocate ever since for the province to repeal the Community Benefits Agreement, administered by BC Infrastructure Benefits, that governs construction of the hospital and other infrastructure projects in B.C., and questioned why the CBA’s administrator gets to decide what First Nations do in their traditional territory.

A statement from BC United, the former Liberal party of B.C., said Coleman exposed the gross unfairness of the NDP’s CBAs, particularly in the construction of the new Cowichan District Hospital.

“These CBAs not only restrict 85 per cent of the construction workforce in the province from working on these ‘NDP-favoured unions only’ sites, but have also led to the skyrocketing cost of the Cowichan Hospital from $800 million to $1.4 billion and counting,” the statement said.

“Moreover, local First Nation contractors, such as Jon, have been unjustly excluded from participating in a project taking place on their traditional territories.”


Standing in front of the hospital site on Dec. 11 and flanked by other BC United MLAs, Coleman said he is honoured to be the Valley’s BCU candidate in the next election, slated for October, 2024.

“BC United, under the leadership of Kevin Falcon, can fix the critical issues facing our community, like the rising cost of living, lack of affordable housing, a healthcare system in crisis, and rising crime,” he said.

“I’m determined, under the BC United banner, to fight for a better British Columbia for all.”

Coleman also said he will be asking the province why there are no plans for detox beds at the new hospital.

“The many people who are trying to recover from addictions will not be looked after in the new CDH, and I find that disgraceful,” he said.

“We need someone from here who keeps the pulse of the Cowichan Valley to represent it in Victoria.”

BC United Leader Kevin Falcon said Coleman’s unwavering commitment to breaking down barriers and advocating for his community makes him the ideal candidate for the Cowichan Valley.

“His experience, particularly in challenging the exclusionary impacts of CBAs, aligns perfectly with BC United’s mission to address critical issues facing everyday British Columbians,” Falcon said.

“I know Jon will be a strong voice, fighting to fix our province for this generation, and the next.”

Robert Barron

About the Author: Robert Barron

Since 2016, I've had had the pleasure of working with our dedicated staff and community in the Cowichan Valley.
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