Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

7 more trade associations vow to close down Ontario College of Trades

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Plumbers, electricians, sheet metal workers and air conditioning mechanics will be forced to pay $120 fees to the Ontario College of Trades next year. Or they could see their Certificates of Qualification withheld.

The opposition to the “McGuinty trades tax” (the Ontario College of Trades, with its compulsory $120 annual fees on certain trades) has intensified, with an additional seven new trade associations joining the Stop The Trades Tax campaign. It’s all part of an organized effort by the Ontario Construction Employers Coalition, which held a press conference Dec. 11 at Queen’s Park.

In the home renovation industry, licensed plumbers, electricians, sheet metal workers and air conditioning mechanics will have to pay $120 annual fees to belong to the College, which will teach no courses and offer no instruction, starting in 2013. For now, other trades in the residential construction industry are considered “voluntary.” They don’t have to join, yet.

The Coalition said it will begin a province-wide tour asking current MPPs, Liberal leadership candidates and all candidates in the next provincial election to stand up for tradespeople and sign a pledge to Stop The Trades Tax. They say the tax will cost tradespeople and employers millions, kill jobs and drive up the cost of services like home renovations, car repairs and getting a haircut.

“People across the province are realizing how damaging this trades tax will be to the Ontario economy,” said Sean Reid, Chair of the Stop The Trades Tax Campaign. “We’re seeing our campaign grow rapidly because the message is sinking in: this tax is going to make life more expensive for everyone. Costs for everything from a haircut to hiring a plumber to getting a car fixed will go up. Ontario families simply can’t afford that.”


The seven new members of the campaign are Kingston Construction Association – Heavy Contractors Division; Ontario Concrete Pipe Association; Ontario Municipal Manufacturers & Distributors Committee; Simcoe County Heavy Construction Association; Niagara Construction Association; Plumbing Heating and Cooling Contractors; and the Canadian Association of Renovators and Home Services.

“The Trades Tax is a bad idea and this new layer of bureaucracy needs to be shut down,” said Reid. “We believe that fair-minded MPPs and candidates across the political spectrum will be willing to stand with Ontario tradespeople and commit to killing this tax.”

The Stop The Trades Tax campaign was launched in 2011 and has grown to 31 organizations whose members represent more than 8,000 small, medium and large Ontario businesses and 130,000 skilled tradespeople across the province. The campaign is supported by tradespeople and business owners who do residential and commercial construction, work in the automotive sector, and even in other trades such as hairstyling. To learn more about the Campaign visit:


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2 Comments » for 7 more trade associations vow to close down Ontario College of Trades
  1. David English says:

    why is it that the College of Trades require office in the down town core of Toronto on BAY STREET. why can they not get some cheeper office space in say …. Brighton Ontario???

  2. John Dunnink says:

    Colleges of trades is nothing but a government sham to employ some people and squeeze money out of hard working trades people.

    Get rid of it or have every politician pay into it and maybe it will benefit them so they should be able to do a better job..

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