Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

Alberta electrician says Ontario College of Trades wants his cash, too

Canadian Contractor

If he doesn't cough up $360 every 3 years to this Ontario-only body, even though he resides in Alberta, he will lose his Interprovincial Red Seal electrical license.

An electrician in Alberta, who got his original Certificate of Qualification in Ontario, sent us a letter about how, when he contacted the Ontario College of Trades recently, he got some pretty disturbing news.

Here’s his letter.  (The lobby group against the College of Trades has a website at

Dear Editor:

The new Ontario College of Trades is the worst thing that could happen to tradespeople, and not just in Ontario.


I’ve been an Alberta resident for 22 years, after moving from Sarnia. I received my inter-provincial license in Ontario 33 years ago. I’ve always renewed my electrical license with a simple $60 fee every 3 years to the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities. I heard from the Ontario College of Trades for the first time last week when I received a letter stating I must pay them $360 every 3 years. When I contacted the client services department of the College of Trades asking them to explain the benefit of the 500 per cent increase, they said it was to manage the Ontario program. I was told I would have no benefit and no say in the Ontario program. Either I pay money for nothing, or lose my inter-provincial electrical license. It’s ransom, plain and simple.

Ontario’s costly membership fees are a major deterrent to young apprentices. My advice to young people considering the trades as a profession is to come to Alberta. Keep your hard earned dollars, and get your license here. It’s good for life, with no ongoing fees, issues or hurdles.


John MacMillan, Electrician

Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta



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