Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

"Is your plumber certified? Check with College of Trades!" – Toronto Star spouts the propaganda

Canadian Contractor Business

The PR folks who handle the account for the Ontario College of Trades are probably going to be busy telling the public that without OCOT certification you are a bum. In so many words.

If you are a plumber in Ontario who has just got one of those fat invoices for $120 in the mail from the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT), and you wonder what on earth you’re going to get back for your money (other than if you don’t pay it, they’ll withhold your license), check out propaganda like this from the Toronto Star on the weekend.

The PR folks at Argyle Communications (last time we received their stuff) who represent the Ontario College of Trades, either seeded this story, or are loving it anyway.

You won’t stay licensed if you don’t pay the OCOT their annual fee.

And the Toronto Star is going to make sure the public knows it.

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10 Comments » for "Is your plumber certified? Check with College of Trades!" – Toronto Star spouts the propaganda
  1. OCOT IS JUST A $ cost we do not need them. Thisd OCOT will do nothing for the trades
    To think the teachers College was better for apprentices to be handle through
    rather then the Employer in the trade related where their was no cost or benefits that had to be paid for setting it up and maintaining and running it.
    They still come to us (Employer) to hire an apprentice. Their is no benifits at all to all this. COST COST COST GIVE the employers in related fields the money to hire an Apprentice and eliminate all these not needed people.

    NOTE: We Employers did it all before at no cost or expenses, now you occured a cost which is paid by the people of Ontario. A cost not needed.

  2. Great comment Steve. I read this article in the Star and found it misleading and just a mouthpiece for the College of Trades.

    Alec Caldwell
    CARAHS Founder

  3. Steve the big question to be asked from the information in the article is. Where did the College get the 300,000 names they have listed on their site.? When we asked this question in our discussion with the College of trades in October workshop their reply was they have been getting the names from websites, yellow pages and chamber lists. If that is the case how can they have made sure that every name has been checked out and that they hav all their credentials.

  4. On that article in the Toronto Star Business section on Monday 13, 2013. The spin doctors said:

    “there are almost 300,000 people in the public registrar, which empowers consumers to verify the standards they hire to work on their behalf”

    The question is: where did they obtain these 300,000 people from and I think the answer was in trolling web sites and through the yellow pages. I believe these were the words Ron Johnston said when he met our CARAHS members at the Canadian Contractors location in Toronto last fall. Have they fully checked out everyone of these 300,000? I’d be very surprised if they have and I believe bragging about these numbers is a ploy and a way to make the College look bigger and more powerful.

    Finally I say the use of the word College indicates a leaning facility and they are certainly not that, but only a regulatory body, which I believe misleads the very public they say they are out to serve. Maybe they need to advertise and tell the public, the truth, that they not a college of learning and I wonder what the reaction would be to that? Maybe they’d lose support.

    So what’s you thoughts on this extra regulatory body that’s been created and jobs in making jobs for themselves? Would it not be nice if self employed contractors could work with guarantees and security like them? Instead of being forced to pay membership fees to support this organization. What do you think about this organization?

  5. Merv Snyder says:

    I’m an Alberta Trained , Certified Red Seal Journeyman Plumber , the Red Seal means that I can work in any province in Canada , except Quebec , but then who wants to work in Quebec ! This Ontario so called college of trades means absolutely nothing to those of us who hold the Red Seal , if we wanted to work in Ontario , we would and could , this so called college of trades can go to hell !!!!

    • Steve Payne says:

      Merv: You’re in a good place – although don’t get me started on how Quebec won’t let Ontario contractors in, but their contractors apparently have no problem coming into “English” Canada. That’s for another time. As for the Alberta-Ontario thing, we covered a story a couple weeks ago where a contractor in Alberta, who had his Red Seal, was being threatened with losing his Alberta license(s) because Ontario had originally certified him. And the Ontario College of Trades told him, you gotta pay up, or lose your license. And he hadn’t even worked here in Ontario in over 20 years.

  6. Al says:

    The main purpose of OCOT is to prevent trades people who don’t pay the new licensing tax
    from working. It doesn’t have much to do with qualification,
    protection of consumers and promotion of trades.
    It has a potential to disallow unlicensed workers in voluntary trades from doing their job,
    and force their employers to replace them, when the trade is changed to compulsory.
    It is a tax that funds obstacle to work and business.
    I will not join OCOT or pay the fee, and I will sit as an independent tradesman until
    they go away.

  7. big dog electrical says:

    people please, i just registered with OCOT and am quite happy.
    why?? well for a reg’d electrician i can now charge my clients $$ more per hour and work less. simple. we as electricans do not pay for things our clients pay or ask the boss for the 0.06 cent per hour pay rise as hey he gets a reg’d electrician. do not pay this out of your own pocket.

  8. Dean K. says:

    Normally I enjoy Ellen Roseman’s columns, she usually has the pulse on the industry she writes about. Sometimes performing ombudsman type interventions between folks and corporations. But alas, she really missed the mark on this one. I don’t think she had a look at what the OCOT really is and just blasted this one out to meet a deadline. Here is my posting at the Star in response to the misinformed story.

    “Ellen, I would say don’t be so quick to praise the OCOT and the info available in their database of tradespeople. They are just starting up after nearly 4 years of prep time and have yet to receive or pursue any complaints against anybody. As a licensed tradesman of nearly 30 years, I for one have done probably 1000s of calls over the years, this database shows none of that. Sure, I had a few minor complaints along the way, which I tended to and resolved to my clients’ satisfaction. This database shows none of that. As the saying goes “do a thousand jobs right, but get remembered for the one job that you might have screwed up on.”

    My personal opinion on this new Ontario College of Trades? It is going to be the next BIG boondoggle/blunder of the present and past Dalton McGuilty’s fiberal government. E-Health, Ornge, the recent gas plant closure fiasco, wind generation contracts will all pale to what this behemoth will be.”

  9. I had my old company, send a man to my house buy axceden, to funny he has been with them four years still have not went to trade school , the company and him are putting him out as a tradesmen . I choked when he showed up at my door .
    We talked I told him I just completed my G2 gas plus I am a master plumber im going to try on my own , me with all license , him with none said , (OH YOUR GOING TO BE FLY BUY NIGHT ) me lol . I have all my credentials, he has none , collage of trades needs to look into union companys too .

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