Magazine for professional home renovators.

Don’t cooperate with Ontario College of Trades officers asking for your papers, contractor association head advises

If you are a contractor in Ontario and get a visit from the “enforcement officers” from the Ontario College of Trades (in their brand new vans), you don’t legally have to show them your papers unless they can prove that they’ve received a complaint against you. You can, in fact, ask them to leave.

That’s the assertion made today on our site by someone who knows the legalities of the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) better than, probably, any contractor in the province. Doug Leitch, an electrician from Carleton Place, Ont., who founded the Ontario Contractor & Small Business Association (www.ocsba.ca) last year, spurred in part by issues like the OCOT, has been communicating with the “College” for more than a year, pointing out their potential violations of existing law, especially when it comes to privacy of contractors’ information.

On our site today, Leitch posted this, in reply to another reader complaining about OCOT officers on his site:

“Did the OCOT compliant officers have a valid complaint against any of your guys? You are aware that unless they do not have a valid complaint against you or your guys, you do not have to show them anything at all?

The only mandate that the Ontario College of Trades has is to receive and investigate complaints against members of the college!

Next time tell them where to go and ask them to leave. Then inform them that if they do not leave you will place a call to the police to have them charged with harassment because, unless they have received or can produce a compliant, then in my opinion the only reason they are there is to harass you and your guys.

It is time for trades people to inform these compliancy officers that they are a private organization and they do not have the same powers.
The OCOT is not a government organization!

I cannot wait until I meet one of these compliancy officers on a site where I am working. I have a copy of the legislation (The Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act 2009) in my truck. (That document) is the only thing that I will be showing them and then the door.

I will be taking down their information and filing a formal complaint of harassment against them.

Everyone, you need to know your rights and do not let these compliancy officers think they have more powers than they really do. Stand up to them now to protect your rights.”

Posted by
Steve Payne is the editor of Canadian Contractor magazine
16 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. I would be real leery of going down that road.

    Don’t get into legal squabbles with people who have more money and better lawyers than you.

  2. Not saying for a second that this College and it’s goons are any less than insects.

    Some fights though just are not worth fighting.

  3. Doug is 100% correct in what he stated in the written law the only mandate they have is to collect fees issue c of q and investigate complaints. Allowing them the satisfaction of seeing your papers is like letting a security guard write you a speeding ticket and I bet you wouldn’t let that happen!

  4. If the ocot is not a Government body, how can they revoke my license , as they have threatend to do I refuse to join?

    • Robert Koci

      It has been given power by legislation. It can revoke your license because the Act that formed the OCOT includes the power to do so.

  5. Hi Robert, the act that formed the OCOT was rushed trough legislation and 4 million dollars were spend to interview only a few people to set this unlawfull shit.

    For the act to be lawfull a free and fair vote should have taken place, which didn’t..

    The OTC, Ontario teachers college, was voted for it, on may 1997. So can anyone explain why this was done this way?

    Apparently the Ontario legislature was used and abused for this matter. Can politicians be appointed? I guess not, why?

    I believe this OCOT will not stand the court challenge, its wasn’t a fair and freely voted. This was forced it, this is apparent fraud, and the treat and intimidation letters are there to scare the trades people.

    Do they scare me? no at all, I didn’t sign with them nor I will and the court will decide. The ball is on their court now, do they know how to play soccer?

    Lets see, the more get this challenged the better. I believe a court order to investigate, or an inquire to investigate how this took place will show the reality of this fraud. Like so many scams from this government, we all know so far how many, its disgusting.

  6. Wow! It’s really unbelievable what you guys are going through.
    The similarities to this (thugs with official vans making illegal demands) and the Brownshirts at the beginning of the Nazi regime is astounding and just plain scary. The OCOT seems to be trying to enforce laws before it’s actually law.
    Do whatever you can to fight this atrocity. If you don’t like what they are trying to get away with now just wait until they are firmly entrenched and start flexing their muscles. Does $5000.00 a year seem outrageous? This is a direct tax grab on the honest working man. Remember what the federal liberals did with the GST? It will get much bigger and it looks like it won’t stop at just the money.
    You know that thisbis engineered by the unions, broke provincial government and the banks with tons of mafia influence from Quebec.

  7. so… is it true that carpenters need to be licensed by the OCOT? What happens if we aren’t? What exactly would a “carpenter” consist of in order to require this license? How do we go about getting one and does it cost a lot?
    It just seems as though there are so many hoops to jump through in order to get a job done that it is becoming not worth it. And a lot of the hoops are not even visible, just to trip you up. I have seriously been contemplating another line of work and that is scary because the younger generation seems ill equipped to take over the renovations industry.

  8. I’ve seen the OCOT inspectors in my area and they have visited sites my coworkers were on. I’d love to tell them to take a hike if they come to one of my sites, so after reading this article and the contents I looked into it a bit further. Doug Leitch’s comments indicate we have the right to tell them to leave unless they have a complaint against us, however, after looking at the ontario college of trades and apprenticeship act I’m not sure he’s correct, especially in regards to Part VIII s. 54 (1) and (2). It looks to me like it clearly says these inspectors can visit pretty much any site at any time to see if the tradesmen working there are registered with the college. Any clarification would be appreciated as I’d love to stick it to them like they are doing to us!

  9. I’d love to tell these inspectors to take off, but look at the college of trades and apprenticeship act part viii s.54 (1) and (2). To me it says these guys can visit any site and ask guys to prove they are registered with the college. I don’t think they need to have proof of a formal complaint against you as this article implies. Can someone clarify the rights we have as tradesmen? I would love to tell them to scram if given the chance, but by my interpretation of the act, we don’t have the legal footing to do so, and they have all the authority.

  10. Form a trades association and hire a lawyer to interpret the law for you. If all trades people got together to form an association with a small fee, we could afford to be properly represented. Let carpenters build houses and let our lawyers interpret the law. Power in numbers.

    • Im not a union guy.. but this is where the unions should be fighting for trades. I’d gladly throw in money to get this settled the fair way.

      • How many contractors would support a pro trade association? If we work together we can help set the rules in a fair way. The lawmakers are subject to the masses, not the other way around.

        I’m with you Dave

    • Sorry, I should have said union, but I guess that’s what union, not association. Or is it the same thing?

  11. Im against this as much as the next guy.. but if you go to

    http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_09o22_e.htm

    and read this..

    Production of certificate or statement
    (10) For the purpose of determining compliance with Part II or a Board regulation made under subparagraphs 3 i to iv of subsection 72 (1), the holder of a certificate of qualification or statement of membership shall carry his or her certificate or statement and, when requested to do so, shall produce the certificate or statement to a person appointed under subsection 54 (1) or a person authorized by a Minister’s regulation to request such production. 2009, c. 22, s. 37 (10).

    You may want to give in to showing them your credentials until we elect a new premier and get this Governing body restructured.

  12. And the government spends millions to entice young people to join the trades…jusy so they can be harassed and threatened by the OCOT Gestapo. I was already harrassed and threatened in my workplace. Young people- STOP entering the trades!!!

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