Editor’s Note: Alec Caldwell’s advice for renovators across Canada – on everything from safety rules and regulations, to taxes, insurance and staying out of trouble in general – has generated more comment on this site than any other contributor we have featured. He is the president and founder of the Canadian Association of Renovators and Home Services (CARAHS). Here, he gives his opinion on the Ontario election. Let Alec know what you think of his column.
If you’re an Ontario contractor, you might be asking yourself who you are going to vote for in today’s Ontario provincial election. PCs under Hudak? Liberals under Wynne? NDP under Horwath? Someone else?
Who cares, some may say. “They (politicians) always over-promise and under-deliver, so why bother to exercise our right to vote? Will our vote make any difference?”
Who can fault this thought process? Previous governments have come and gone in Ontario and left us with a huge provincial debt. Some of these governments have dismantled social safety nets for the most vulnerable. Corporate greed has played a role.
Well, not so fast, I say. If you know your history, you know there was a day when only men with money and property could vote and no women, regardless of their wealth, could vote at all.
In my native land, the UK, workers started to organize themselves at a workplace level in the early part of the last century. The workers, who played such a vital part in the once indomitable industrial strength of the land, had no political rights. So they formed trade unions to get a voice and some basic rights.
Tomorrow, Ontario needs your voice. So vote! Other people fought for your right to vote, many decades ago.
It’s clear to me that voting for Wynne will bring disaster to the construction industry, especially in the home renovation market, as everyone doing carpentry or drywall will require to hold Certificates of Qualification in these fields, to qualify to join the Ontario College of Trades, if the OCOT’s plans to certify these trades comes into effect.
In my opinion, the Ontario College of Trades, with moves like this, deserves to be called what it is: a union-controlled mob.
Self-employed home renovators who learned their trades over years of self-practice, like Mike Holmes, who holds no C of Q, will suddenly become outsiders in the industry – basically forced into the underground. Everyone working without the necessary qualifications will become an illegal worker. Who came up with this insane policy? The bureaucrats at the Ontario College of Trades, urged on by the unions, given legal powers (The Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeships Act) by the Dalton McGuinty Liberals, way back in 2008.
If you need a reason to vote, maybe this is the reason. Especially if you or a family member presently works in construction in Ontario and they depend on their job to feed their family. If this is this not good enough reason to vote, what is?
CARAHS was founded as a non profit association to advocate and mentor independent self employed renovators and home services (Canadian Association of Renovators and Home Services)
Toll free 1 866 366 2930
CARAHS has over 130 online Health & Safety e-courses