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Once again the Ontario Government illustrates its blatant disregard for the wishes of its constituents

"When the government finally succeeds in putting me out of business, as they seem hell-bent to do with all these tax grabs, it will be extremely hard to cheerfully grin and bear it


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March 14, 2014 by Steve Payne

And here’s another renovator, Steve Ridgley, writing to us about the Ontario ‘College’ of Trades and their attempts to get carpenters to join their growing list of tradespeople who must pay up or lose their licensed livelihoods…

“I fully agree that those in structural construction should be qualified to perform such work in principle. I might even be persuaded to agree that the government should on some level have a watchdog process in place to verify that no one is being placed in danger by questionable construction methods or practices and that building codes are being adhered to.

I’m unsure how forced enlistment in a union is going to magically certify someone like myself to be a qualified carpenter. I’m certainly not going to close my business down and undertake an apprenticeship for the next several years so that I can once again reopen and continue what I am currently doing — building maintenance for cooperative housing, painting, flooring, drywall repairs, installing smoke detectors and tightening loose cabinet door hinges. It’s pretty in depth carpentry.

I’m fairly certain that for the right amount of money I can buy into the union, start paying dues, pay my blood money to OCOT and have a verified track record toward my hours, but how is that changing anything from the current state of affairs?

The WSIB has already determined that I am a renovator. My mandatory involvement under the construction classification with WSIB means I have already had to hit customers with a substantial increase this year to offset the increased costs. Am I supposed to now go back to them less than two months later and hit them with yet another? I can’t see that one going over well.

I am self-employed by choice. But after 15 consecutive years of self employment and over 25 years throughout my lifetime I am fairly certain that my options for employment are limited. If this goes through I will, at 48 years of age, be forced to decide to close my business and take a job as a greeter somewhere, or go with the flow and starve due to overwhelming overhead costs.

I’m not sure what the worst part of this scenario will be for me….but when the government finally succeeds in putting me out of business as they seem hell-bent to do with all these tax grabs, it will be extremely hard to cheerfully grin and bear it when I make my tax filing that year.

Steve Ridgley


Steve Payne

Steve Payne

Steve Payne is the editor of Canadian Contractor magazine
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8 Comments » for Once again the Ontario Government illustrates its blatant disregard for the wishes of its constituents
  1. Dwight Kuhn says:

    In Alberta, we currently do not have the type of requirements being put forward by Ontario. No guarantees that bureaucrats here will not follow Ontario’s lead, but currently, it is fairly easy to be a self employed tradesperson in Alberta.

    In terms of structural issues on new construction, would not the local building inspectors ensure the homes are properly built? Is that not their job? Seems unnecessary to add another level of government for that purpose.

    We have a huge demand for skilled trades in Alberta. You are welcome here! The weather is cold in winter, but if you can handle it, the rewards are great!

    • Robert Koci says:

      Dwight: Thanks for your comment. I know we spend a lot of time on the issues of Ontario, but mainly because the province has big, big issues. It’s nice to know you guys in the rest of the provinces have less headaches with your public service and government.

      We conducted a round table a few years ago with contractors across Canada. It was a shock to the Ontario contractors that the rest of the country had very little to complain about with its work place insurance (whatever is the equivalent of Ontario’s WSIB.) What? No $14 billion unfunded liability!!? Shocking!

  2. Michael Gray says:

    Had the privilige of seeing our hard earn money at work the other day with regards to the College of Trades. Brand new 4 wheel drive truck, 2 inspectors, one woman and one man, walking thru a job site hasseling everyone for their C of Q cards. I feel much safer knowing people that do not have clue about the construction industry are making sure we are all safe. Oh did I mention their pretty uniforms ! I put a cost of about $200,000.00 walking around that day with their wages , truck and fancy uniforms. The fact that my men had to stop work, go to their vehicles to get their cards, to continue working, I figure I lost about 2 man hours of work, who is covering that cost ? Maybe they should have to wait outside the construction project to request the cards from the workers leaving the site ? Do these inspectors have all the proper training that is required by every other trade to be on site ? Regards, About to give up !

  3. Terry Ferguson says:

    If you stand back and take a good look it seems like the OCOT has nothing to do with the industry. Its all about providing jobs for the Liberals and their friends and relatives. Then they have to consistently find new revenue to fund this growing bureaucracy. When is the next election ?

  4. Oleber says:

    Michael, get all the work hours you have lost per worker and posted, either per month or year. Posted on the job site too, for everyone to see.
    Sent a Email to MPPs, Garfield Dunlop and Randy Hellier with the number of hours you have lost and price tag.

    Get a good lawyer and sue them, the OCOT, For lost production. If they really wish to help business which I doubt It. They should do it on break times or lunch times. The reason the may not do that, because its a private worker time I believe. This is a money pit only, nothing more. If every company do this together, they will get it.

  5. Terry Ferguson says:

    How about a class action law suit against the OCOT or the liberal government.
    We are all strong together !

  6. Doug Leitch says:

    Hi Michael Grey
    Did the OCOT compliant officers have a valid complaint against any of your guys? You are aware that unless they do not have a valid complaint against you or your guys, you do not have to show them anything at all.
    The only mandate that the Ontario College of Trades have is to receive and investigate complaints against members of the college!
    Next time tell them where to go and ask them to leave. Then inform them that if they do not leave you will place a call to the police to have them charged with harassment because unless they have received or can produce a compliant, then in my opinion the only reason they are there is to harass you and your guys.
    It is time for the trades people to inform these compliant officers that they are a private organization and they do not have the same powers.
    The OCOT is not a government organization!
    I can not wait until I meet one of these complaint officers on a site where I am working. I have a copy of the legislation/ the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act 2009 in my truck which is the only thing that I will be showing them and then the door.
    I will be taking down their information and filling a formal complaint of harassment against them.
    Everyone you need to know your rights and do not let these complaint officers think they have more powers than they really do. Stand up to them now to protect your rights.

  7. Oleber says:

    Hello Doug, I have sent you a few emails, but something must have happen you know! Yeah its time to start a law suite I believe, because those under the old TQAA aren’t clarified apparently. The OCOT is already in the court about the bias of the electrical apprenticeship program, the IBEW ex lawyer seems involved in this case, the company which took the (orchestrated corruption over trades) is power source inc. I guess, they have business in Windsor and kitchenear. You can go to Garfield Dunlop MPP PC, website is there all to see.

    Here is a link for those wish to be in contact,,,,

    Good luck Doug, wish you the best.

    http://www.ontariotenants.ca/government/mpp.phtml