Canadian Contractor

Why the Ontario College of Trades should be abolished: Interview with Garfield Dunlop, MPP (VIDEO)

When Garfield Dunlop speaks out so strongly against the Ontario College of Trades, he isn't just being a Progressive Conservative politician taking shots at yet another bad idea from the Dalton McGuinty government. He's speaking as a Canadian Contractor. He's a plumber.

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September 3, 2013 by Robert Koci

In this video, Rob Koci chats with Garfield Dunlop, a Progressive Conservative MPP for the riding of Simcoe North, about the possibility of abolishing the widely-criticized Ontario College of Trades (OCOT).

Garfield Dunlop is one of the leading political voices in Ontario when it comes to making plans to either close down – or dramatically rethink – the “College.” (Quotation marks added because this “College” will teach no courses and educate no students: it’s a purely regulatory body that will cost contractors $120 a year so they can appear “in good standing” on the College’s website.) But, of course, the Liberals, not Mr. Dunlop’s PC party, run the province. Repealing the Ontario College of Trades act will first require an election.

Dunlop is not “just” a politician (at Queen’s Park he is the “Skilled Trades & Apprenticeship Reform” critic).

He is, in “real life,” a licensed plumber.

Dunlop says he is expecting to receive his own $120 invoice from the College of Trades this fall.

What will he get for that money? Very, very little at all, as he describes in this video clip.

To add your voice to the opposition to the Ontario College of Trades, email Garfield Dunlop at

His website is





Robert Koci

Robert Koci

Rob Koci is the publisher of Canadian Contractor magazine. Tel. 647-407-0754
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2 Comments » for Why the Ontario College of Trades should be abolished: Interview with Garfield Dunlop, MPP (VIDEO)
  1. Aaron miller says:

    This is such a great idea I am a fourth year electrical apprentice that hasn’t worked in Ontario in over two years because there just isn’t enough regulation on apprentice to journeyman ratio or that company’s need to hire apprentices. I’ve being searching for many opportunities within the past two years and there hasn’t been enough apprentice jobs to support people to work in Ontario! I really don’t agree with the college of trades right now but what it could become would be a great idea. Good interview!

  2. David says:

    You are probably making a great salary ,working out of Ontario whilst learning your craft.
    My advice is too pay whatever dues need paying (CoT is +-$.33 per day), get that Red Seal and while attending courses to learn the technical and business end.
    I also recommend you not only accomplish the preceding but you also learn in depth, the art of mortgages and purchasing rental properties. Being in the trades gives you a jump start on investing in rental properties.
    Good luck (will not be luck just perseverance) from a fellow, who started wiring houses as helper at age 13 and spent 39 years in electrical.