Canadian Contractor

Should the Ontario College of Trades 'enforcers' really be hitting up contractors for credentials at Tim Hortons? Seems they are!

To me this is too much government. Let us know what you think.

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May 2, 2014 by Alec Caldwell

OCOT timmiesShould the Ontario College of Trades “enforcers” (sorry, they are called Enforcement Officers) REALLY be hitting contractors up for credentials at TIM HORTONS? Seems they are!

One of our members experienced this exact scenario recently – and contacted our CARAHS office about it.

This particular OCOT enforcement officer was observed by this contractor approaching other contractors stopping by for their morning coffee . The contractor took the photo we’ve featured on our Facebook page.

Soon these trades cops could be asking you questions about your qualifications on YOUR coffee break!

It was my understanding that OCOT officers are supposed to be following up on specific complaints. That was their mandate, I thought. Guess I’m wrong and they are into playing their “trade” at donuts and coffee shops. What next, outside big box stores? Following you from there to job sites? Photographing you eating your sandwich or pizza?  

To me, this is too much government. What do you think?

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)  

GOLD members toll free hot line 1-866-366-2930 for issues on WSIB, Safety MOL,   reducing fines or job site closure to customer issues and more. Unlimited usage. 

CARAHS has over 130 online Health & Safety e-courses



Alec Caldwell

Alec Caldwell

Alec Caldwell is the Founder of CARAHS, a Health & Safety Organization. We are approved providers by the Ministry of Labour (Ontario) to teach Working at Heights Training (Pro#34609) Visit the Ministry of Labour's web site to view our listing
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33 Comments » for Should the Ontario College of Trades 'enforcers' really be hitting up contractors for credentials at Tim Hortons? Seems they are!
  1. Yvette Aube says:

    This College of Trades [COT} should be outlawed as I feel it is just another money grab from Government related minds. Much like WSIB which is also forced upon us.
    How can they[COT] FORCE us to become members under threat of removing our well earned- and paid for- credentials.!! This is appalling.
    And stopping Contractors while they are on a break!! Come on give ME a break!! Are we not safe in our own trucks any longer from the Enforcers!!!
    Mr Garfield Dunlop, PLEASE help put a stop to this hand in our pockets. The COT of Trades is either going to force small companies to close their doors and/or drive the contractors further under-ground.
    STOP THE INSANITY!! I want to KEEP the money our company earns to pay our Suppliers and Staff, not keep giving more and more to the Government and other Authorities!! Enough is Enough.

    • mark says:

      soon they will be waiting outside home depot to make sure people buying diy material are not out doing side jobs for cash. good luck with that ocot.

  2. mike shafer says:

    I guess road rage is going to happen sooner or later with this sort of tatics ….who said you have to go to Russia for communism …..our own gov so called doing good for the people has taken up tatics not anything to do for people other than harass and screw us over more and more… we are over governed already …..until consumers revolt they will continue their agendas …..wont surprise me to find some of these goon squad face down in a ditch at some point …..oh I suppose they have guns !
    Insanity wait and see its goina happen the pushins gotta stop

  3. Rick Harris says:

    Do they have the right to detain you? As one of our plumbers pointed out how do they know you didn’t just pick up the truck for delivery and you are just a warehouse employee?
    Seems to me they are letting their power go to their heads. That being said I am still in favour of the OCOT but if this continues I may change my mind.

  4. Larry Marchand says:

    My comment is about protecting the trades in general – I’m a westernere so I know nothing about the Ontario college of trades, their mandate, policies or practices – what I do firmly believe, and have done for many years, is that we need to move steadily toward protecting our trades. I have worked in construction for 30 years, and one of my greatest pet peeves is how unqualified workers are not only tolerated in the industry, but how their presence drives wages down for workers who have made the commitment and put the effort into their trade. Having a trade is something to take great pride in, and it should not only pay the tradesperson enough to live on, but should also garner respect in the community. It would seem to me that more than anything else, an organization like the college of trades should exist to support tradespeople, and create an environment for trades that promotes respect, integrity, long-term viability, and quality.

  5. Questo says:

    Alec, election time, banners up, stop the college of traitors, the ECRA, WISB and all bullshit side agencies created by the Liberals. Just keep the ones which makes sense and get rid of the ones stilling our money.

    Maybe time for a march parade on bay street, and other locals.
    Construction workers can stop working for a moment when these shills show up, all going for coffee ignoring them, if a large groups start not complying with them
    they will get it.

    Finally the Liberals are down, lets see if our Province will get better, after the elections, hope they will lose the upcoming election, a lot work to be done for all of us. We the people have to mobilise for our betterment and the future of our kids. Lets hope for the better.

    • mike shafer says:

      Myself I think its time the tradesmen of ont need to walk off job and sit on parliament hill or where ever off work sites or picket sites of gov bodies ….consumer s have no idea how this will impact them in future working reno’s etc …yet that is ! we started out with craftsmen way back when then some where along the line money , permits ,taxes etc turned the tables for consumers to create the black market . Our quality control fell off ….now its all about gov gouging first using quality control as a excuse …..we are taxed to death with fees, taxes , permits , price of goods from world markets without quality controls on goods …. way back when free trade came about

  6. D. Brian Baker says:

    When are you guys going add “likes” that enable us to like another posting? Unless you are on a job site tell them to go to hell they cannot do a thing to anyone. If they could they would ask everyone on the street. My wife often takes my truck, so what she is now going to be confronted while out shopping. KMA To the College Glad I do not line in ON

  7. Bob2 says:

    It sounds like the Stasi has emerged from East Berlin, with an election coming up in June hopefully we could do away with the commies..uhmm, I mean liberals and their OCOT friends with one vote.

  8. Questo says:

    Tim Hortons isn’t in their by laws as a job site, as factory, or any local construction buildings, or trades location business, unless its in renovation, These Ontario Corrupted Orwellian Traitors. This is disgusting.

    This could be seen as an harassment, good thing for front news papers, and ask
    Tsubounchi as the OCOT CEO to resign together with the chief inspectors.

    Take photos of them too not just their trucks, If anytime I could be approached in this hype of harassment, I will call the cops on them, take their photos and posted publicly.

    Its about time this insane Liberals fail, and now elections may change for better, at this elections time to all Liberals running, should be show all their scandals together with all their insane creations, in big banners.

    The NDP isn’t better either, On April 29/2014 I was called by the NDP leader MMP Andrea for a phone call conference, amazing, and the day after, haven’t answer, because when a larger group of trades people, certified and none, asked to the local NDP for a meeting about couple months ago, concerning the OCOT issues, we were never answer, we are still waiting. FT

    Now they knew some of our phone numbers, really? No NDP banners this time anywhere around our homes nor business, they voted for the OCOT and most of others sideways collection agencies, Andrea pulled the plug to save their party, grate, bla bla on the media, bullshit, they will lose a lot of seats this time.

    I believe the PC will win majority, and start doing the clean up. Nulling all QP bills from 2003 those does not serve the public interest but instead the cronies. Lets hope for the better.

  9. Spot on Questo on every item you mentioned. We’ve all got to vote PC whether we like them or not. on this issue They are our only hope…..

    I strongly agree these OCOT people should not have been on a non construction site property doing this. This has to be an illegal issue. Had ibeen there I would have taken and video taped this in action. Our sourse for the photo and what he observed as a contractor is solid. Guess he decided taking a persons photo withour ermission was dangerous.

    For me I have no problem, then once I was finished documenting , I’d be inhis face and chase his off the property.

    Great comment from everyone. Keep them coming.

    • Edward says:

      Do you know your smoking laws? If you do, you would understand what the definition of what a workplace is. A commercial vehicle, which majority of trades drive with their logo’s, is considered one also…which Is why they have the right to do what they are doing. It also does not matter who is driving it. They consider it a workplace…. So yes it is legal. Unfortunately, it also applies to anyone not employed with said company etc… Cant smoke in commercial vehicles… Have not seen someone fined for smoking in commercial vehicle to this day, but apparently they do hand them out.

  10. Joe Greps says:

    —-o——-CoT GESTAPO—-@)

    Someone called?

    • Bob2 says:

      with talent like that you could get a job in the new bureaucracy being started by wynny, The Ontario Art Inspection Agency, salaries starting at $100k. If your kids have colouring books make sure they don’t colour out of the line or the fine is $100

  11. Questo says:

    Alec, last week was on local TV the jackass, smokey opseu union CEO was on the middle of the two local NDP MPP”s, this shown how stupid some the NDP MPP’s are. They couldn’t grasp who came forward with the idea of this OCOT disaster. Can’t be understood how this union guy was allowed to do this, when unions can’t interfere with the private sector, under the Ontario relation labour board.

    Why unions are afraid of Tim Hudak? He may start a investigation about these issues and someone will have to loose their jobs, well I believe will be the right thing to do. These unions CEO’s most of them should be investigated for money laundering.

    The NDP this time pulled the plug on the Liberals and them selves, great move.
    I think the other half of the scandals jacked was to nasty, LOL.

  12. Firstly…very talented Joe….and thats the way it goes when power take over from our rights.

    Questo….Any idea what TV that was on, as I’d like to view it. Thanks for the rules unions should adhere to and sounds like a violation gaff and imagine going in front of a TV camera for all to see you. Top guy as well.

    For the OCOT we need to track these guys down and observe what they are upto. I have the photo of their vehicles on our facebook page and it maybe be available elsewhere.. Catching them doing wrong might seem small, but its not a Joe’s drawing indicated what there are maybe becoming in some peoples eyes. I”d like to catch them and I’m upto getting in to their faces.

    Maybe we need a tweeting or text system when they and where they are spotted and when we think they can be challanged. we have the power through our phones, including vidoe clips. All legal stuff of course, but we are concerned citizens. Just an idea. Any input here from all our readers and bloggers here?

  13. All of us tradespeople need to rally the troops. Last election I walked around a jobsite and couldn’t find one person working there that even voted! Inform your co-workers. You can be sure that every public sector worker will be voting, and they almost all vote for the liberals so they can continue to receive generous incomes and benefits. We are an under-represented group. IT DOESN’T MATTER WHO WE VOTE FOR-JUST GET OUT AND VOTE!!!!!

    • Bob2 says:

      This is the disadvantage we have, but rest assured that if you belong to a trade union in the private sector you will get a pamphlet telling you to vote liberal. When I was a member I received one and couldn’t believe these guys had the gall to tell me who to vote for.

  14. Questo says:


    I was in a meeting and saw that on the local news London Ontario, he was between the two NDP’s MPP”s Theresa and Piggy, talking about creating jobs, like the creation of the OCOT, you know, to whom the jobs will belong,,,,,. I believe was on April 29 or 30/2014, news at 6pm. I am trying to get the video, but no luck, maybe later if I got it, I will link it.

  15. Hi mark
    You are spots on with what you say about greed, corruptionlowest cost and best deal drive it all.

    Again….you say VOTE…..This is so important as many in this world are not as priviledged as us and we forget this. way back in time, the ordinary man or woman in the street had no vote.

    This was a hard fought battle to earn that and as you said on sites, many did not bother to vote and they don’t realise how important this is and the power their one vote does.

    Lets get the message out and vote OCOT and their cronies OUT NOW.

  16. Hi Questo….We should talk soccer off line, as its about inclusion and mentioning it here is not inclusion for others. My email is and when the times comes, we’ll talk.

    In the meantime, its full steam ahead on OCOT OUT and I sit with balace, supporting self employed home renovators and union who follow the true spirit of why unions were created in the first place.

    There is enough food on the table for all to eat from. Some do not want to share, but only want to sit at the head of that table, dictating, without thought for others. They have no morals or ethics and this is my personal opinion.

    Greed is the reason for this i beleive and gread runs through OCOT, politicians, religion, unions(some) homeowners, the seld employed, corporations and to other individuals.

    Unfortunately greed drives many and guess its part of the human set up. It should be what can we do for somone today to help them in life. This I beleive come back double fold to individuals who think this way. The right way. There are givers and takers and as long as the givers outweight the takers, we have balance.

    I was told when a boy right does not always win and it took me years to see that. Over the long haul it does in my viewpoint and standing up for peoples rights in number one.

    That me getting off my soap box now and I’m putting it out there for other to tell me its a load of something or other. silence is defening.

  17. Questo says:

    Alec, resuming your comment: its human evolution in backwards, humans advanced in technology to apparently in slave of the mind. Also some even want to go as far as other worlds, planets, to do what? If in reality other worlds have life, and humans, likely possible, humans from here, may have nothing to teach to them, after all, I believe. Greedy destroys anyone from inside out slowly turning humans into a basic animal. And you mention couple of them in your comment, LOL.

    Now the funny start, the NDP is in full speed, calling people for the use of front lawn banners show, I was called today, as I was in Toronto, didn’t pick up, last time they asked me to use my London property, but this time they can stick it where the sun does not shine. They voted for most of the side ways agencies, triple fold for their goodies you know, a lot of people are very disappointed with these NDP’s.

    Its the eagle with double head, Liberal and NDP.

  18. Edward says:

    I was approached by an enforcement officer last week. Asked if I was licensed, I kindly handed him my plumber OCOT license. I actually like the fact they are going after and looking for plumbing companies that employ bartenders to snake your drains!

  19. Oleber says:

    Were you approached on the Tim Hortons on your free time too or elsewhere?
    They were all happy weren’t they? Mama mia,,,,,,.

    You don’t need these goons just to look if you have their membership, that’s insane, Gestapo style.

    Do you have any photos of bartenders snaking drains?, if so posted.

    • Edward says:

      I can give you company names that employ such people…. 2 are top companies in Toronto for plumbing service. 1 advertises they send you unskilled to the door using the words “professionally trained”…. Stop being blind to the obvious!

  20. john pitoscia says:

    are you kidding me i am a tradesman and i would not give them the time of day.
    they wont like what i have for them if i am approached.

  21. Oleber says:

    An idea to eliminate the OCOT and all other none sense side ways agencies,
    If is not in violation of our Canadian charter of rights and freedoms, and may also a call for a free vote, among compulsory trades people and voluntary.
    Let them express their concerns on this issue.

    A National card, photo ID, social number, health, and at the back, career, may also be a drives license all in one card. This way will eliminate all the illegal workers in this province.

    With this card, will eliminate statistics agencies, all this in computer data, the Provincial, or the Federal government will know the needs of every career, who gets retired, if moved to another province, just change the address, then is known how many trades people moved out. Affordable fees could be once a year, or no career certification fees, because ones already paying income tax.

    We have the technology why can’t we used, companies can swipe the card and see if is active. No WSIB numbers, National ID number will stand for work, and insurance matters CRA etc, insurance should be optional either private or WSIB.
    This way no one will be able to work illegal, if not legal immigrate or allowed to work, shouldn’t have the ID card, with the photo like the health card will save a lot of tax dollars. There will not be a need for any trades policing.

    This just an idea it may or may not work, but in my view it may work.

  22. Questo says:

    “”Also, they target people in company trucks…. Of which I was in to grab a sandwich for lunch.”” That’s f,,, bad, Gestapo at full speed. If PC wins this election their days are counted, and many others too.

    Eduard, maybe the OCOT guys were looking for some Italian presuto, maybe they haven’t eat all day looking for certified people,,,,,,, who knows?

    The companies you mention which may have unskilled people doing certified skilled peoples work, maybe they are snaking some drains to see where all the gas plant deleted emails are,,,, or maybe some Liberals scandals went to the drains, who knows? I am nor blind for these guys in the Toronto area, because I am not there.

    If you really think these companies are acting like that, so on the open, its
    proving and fact the OCOT is useless.

    No one which once certified should be a target for tax grabs, its insane, you already pay income tax and other tax, no need for this gestapo.

    • Edward says:

      Well, if p.c wins…. They would have to win with a majority.. Latest poll shows minority, and this is before his 100k job slash comment… When a clueless guy like hudak goes on the airwaves that he wants to cut 100k jobs in 2 years and big portion teachers (regardless of your opinion public sec jobs, these are still jobs putting food on peoples plates) …. He just punched himself in the nuts…. Because No one in any union would support that…. (So much for unions siding with him)…. Compound the fact voters including their families. Yet he advertises he will create 1 million jobs. I have not voted liberal in a decade and solely supported Conservative….But I will say, P.C’s will not win by Majority… That is guaranteed especially now …which means the OCOT as a result will likely stay where it is… Reformed maybe which is needed.

      As for companies doing what they do in Toronto… Just remember I wasnt always self employed, I worked for few service and new constructuion plumbing companies.., I can assure you with my life that these companies do cheat system. Only reason they still operate that way is because they have not been charged yet. Or charges pending who knows? Mind you in past week, at my local Noble trade supplier… Their is much talk of companies being warned and ordered to comply. It appears just like WSIB, first year was penalty free which they said on their website….It was 2nd year they started the crackdown….

  23. D. Brian Baker says:

    All this does is drive work underground even more and there will be even a greater problem with unmarked vehicles, no qualified persons and no permits or inspections. The work will be done. What next, hey my buddies can’t help me do my own roof or pay my own patio, or pick up goods from the supplier because they will be hassled. What a joke the whole thing is way out of control. Compulsory trades was not supposed to limit entry it was a way to ensure uniform education and training period. This has been expanded on by others, and is not what we agreed too.

  24. Mike Kern says:

    From this angle and several others It looks more and more like a dictatorship. I had one these enforcement officers come to my shop. He introduced himself and informed me that he had more authority than a cop, the mnr or rcmp. I believe it went to his head. I was informed by him that they are trying to control the trades and protect the public; therefore, I listened on to hear what he had to say. I was informed of what I could work on & what I couldn’t work on. Everything mentioned in the conversation where both fastened with the same types of nuts and bolts. Mind ya they were different grades & sizes. I was also informed what type of work could or couldn’t be done by an individual that I train for the job. This I was told is to protect the consumer, which I felt was so ambiguous it was sickening. If I train a student from high school to do the job it would be acceptable. From past experiences many of these students don’t really care about what they are doing but getting a credit for the time spent. I want an individual that cares what they do. I’ve been a tech and instructor for many years. What I believe is needed is that this whole idea of college of trades is to be re thought, because the ambiguous decisions and dollars generated are hurting the wrong people.

    Who are these enforcement officers protecting….?????????
    We need common sense decisions…..!!!!! seems this is a lost art