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Editor’s note: Many of you in Ontario are extremely upset at the $135.60 (until it goes up in future years) annual “trades tax” you have to pay to the Ontario College of Trades to keep certificates of qualification that you earned and paid for. The strongest voice in the Ontario legislature to reform or disband this new bureaucracy, in our opinion, is Garfield Dunlop, a licensed plumber who is the PC critic for skilled trades and apprenticeships. We got this press release from Dunlop yesterday. Read on…
Queen’s Park – Garfield Dunlop, MPP (Simcoe North) and PC Critic for Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Reform has introduced his private members bill entitled “Save Apprentices’ Jobs Act” in the Ontario legislature.
“We need to encourage people to work in a skilled trade. We have lost many workers to the provinces out west,” said Dunlop. “The College of Trades is about to force 85,000 people out of a job it’s time to do something about it.”
The College of Trades has a one year deadline for journeyperson’s to write their Certificate of Qualification exam, once the deadline lapses they lose their licenses. “This worries me considering many choose not to write the exam since they are happy working in their trade of choice”, noted Dunlop.
The same one year deadline applies to apprentices for those who have not paid their membership fees. Approximately 10,000 apprentices have actually registered with the Ontario College of Trades which leaves 85,000 apprentices who have not. “If this deadline approaches and the apprentices have not paid their membership fees we will have a huge number of trades people without jobs,” added Dunlop.
“Our members are being notified by the College to stop training their apprentices on April 8th.
They have a mandate to promote the trades instead they are destroying them,” said Clive Thurston President of Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA).
“This bill will allow over 85,000 apprentices to continue to work legally in addition to the approximate 4,300 journeyperson candidates. I created this bill to help the hard working trades people of Ontario and I hope that the government will support my bill,” said Dunlop.
“How are we supposed to believe the College can register all these apprentices in four weeks when they have demonstrated such administrative ineptitude to date?” said Karen Renkema, Chair of the Stop The Trades Tax Campaign. “The fact is if MPP Dunlop’s Bill is not passed, tens of thousands of apprentices on April 8 will be out of a job.”