TORONTO (April 25, 2014) – An anonymous source within the boardrooms at the Ontario College of Trades told Canadian Contractor yesterday that OCOT”s plans to force certification of carpenters and drywallers is “on hold until some time next year.”
Two weeks ago, Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak, accompanied by his Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship critic MPP Garfield Dunlop, a licensed plumber, held a press conference in which they vowed that their party if elected would seek to abolish the OCOT.
Late last night, Dunlop told Canadian Contractor: “The thought of ever making the trades of carpentry and drywalling compulsory certified trades is a step backward for the Ontario construction industry. Tens of thousands of jobs would be lost and the industry would be crippled. I believe the decision to halt the process is strictly political because of the potential spring election. This ill-conceived idea should be abolished once and for all as we believe should the whole OCOT.”
Our OCOT source says that “all requested trade classification reviews not already underway” are on hold. This would include, in addition to “General Carpenter and Drywall,” “Power Line Technician” and “Acoustic and Lathing Applicator.”
“The reasons for this,” our source continued, “include: unavailability of qualified Ontario Labour Relations Board person to undertake the review, and questions surrounding the process raised through the Sprinkler Fitter review. Based on conversations to date it would appear things are on hold until sometime next year at the earliest. The Construction Millwright review had started so presently I am unsure if this process will be continued.”