The Ontario College of Trades will start sending out fees invoices to 22 different trades in the province in April, according to Bob Guthrie, registrar and CEO of the College.
Guthrie was at the Canadian Contractor offices in Toronto Oct. 18, where he made a presentation to some 30 renovator members of CARAHS (Canadian Association of Renovators and Home Services).
Most of them wanted to know if they will have to join the college and pay fees of $120 (for journeypersons) or $60 (apprentices).
Guthrie outlined the different classes of trades that make up the 22 “compulsory” groups. In the homebuilder and renovator sector (the College will oversee many other different trades, including auto mechanic and hairstylist), it will be plumbers, electricians, sheet metal workers and heating and air conditioning mechanics that will be required to join. And pay.
The college will oversee 135 other types of trade, too, but as yet, none of those trades have been targeted for the fees. But opponents of the College, such as the Coalition of Construction Employers, predict that the College will eventually force all of those trades, which includes such “optional” trades as carpenters, bricklayers and painters, to pay fees.
Guthrie said the College, which currently has 60 employees at its office on Bay Street in downtown Toronto, has two main goals. One, Guthrie said, is to “regulate the trades in Ontario in the public’s self-interest.” This would include cracking down on the underground economy by encouraging the public to only hire registered trades (where registration is mandatory). The second, he said, is to “promote the trades to young people.”
The College will offer no courses or training. It is a regulatory College, alone, in the sense that teachers and nurses, and other professional occupations, are regulated by “colleges.”