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Steve Payne   

Ontario College of Trades is a good thing, trades union spokesman says

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The Ontario College of Trades will help strengthen the trades sector in our province, says Pat Dillon, a member of the College's "appointments council."

Editor’s Note:  We recently received this editorial from Argyle Communications, who appear to have the task of countering the anti-Ontario College of Trades messages from the people, who are calling the $120 per tradesperson mandatory fees invoices from the College (which must be paid or there goes your certificate or license) “money for nothing.”


The Ontario College of Trades supports tradespeople, the foundation of our economy

By Pat Dillon

The skilled trades are the backbone of our economy. That’s not an exaggeration. These workers literally lay the foundation, build, power, and maintain the infrastructure on which our economy runs. At home, at work, and in our daily lives, we rely on them to keep us moving forward.


As our economy changes and we move into the fast-paced, high-tech twenty-first century, skilled trades are in higher demand than ever. This is because change and growth means we need to build, service, and adapt our infrastructure. We can’t outsource the installation of bridges or the construction of factories, these are the building blocks of our economy.

Ontario’s current system just isn’t working well enough. We can’t afford to fall behind any further.

That is where the Ontario College of Trades comes in. The College is an innovative organization that will help our economy grow. It will do so by ensuring that we have enough skilled trade workers to meet market demand. Currently, the trade sector is fragmented, and no one is taking a hard look at the bigger picture. The College will provide that vision. It will develop industry-driven solutions to ensure the trade sector and our economy are ready for the future.

It will accomplish this through a number of strategies: consulting with industry, tradespeople, the public, and other interested stakeholders; establishing a process where independent panels decide whether to keep or adjust journeyperson to apprenticeship ratios based on industry feedback; and acting as a champion for the trades to promote opportunities that will give Ontario a competitive edge.

The College also has a very important role to play in deciding applications on compulsory certification, meaning which types of work will require a license.  This decision is of utmost importance to employees, employers and consumers alike, as it impacts directly on the standards of training, safety, and consumer protection. It’s high time that these decisions be made by the employers, tradespeople, and consumers who will have full involvement in the College of Trades. Through the success of the College, the size of government in this area will be reduced as these important regulatory decisions will be moved away from the government bureaucracy and placed into the hands of industry.

Finally, by promoting the trades as a career of first choice, the College will nurture a new generation of skilled workers–many of whom will be embarking on a second or even third career. We need the skills and experience they bring with them. Some of these individuals may be seeking the challenge and reward of owning their own business; the trades are an excellent sector to pursue that dream.

In the end, a stronger trade sector means a stronger province. The Ontario College of Trades is an investment in the future: the future of our skilled trade labour force, and of our economy.

Patrick Dillon is the business manager and secretary treasurer of the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario, and is a member of the Ontario College of Trades’ Appointments Council.


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8 Comments » for Ontario College of Trades is a good thing, trades union spokesman says
  1. Don Sturm says:

    What ?!!!!!!!
    Are you on something? The governemt in your province is already the administrator of the apprenticeship programs and also has decided what trades are compulsor. Do not lie to the people…… In Alberta we have tried to take more responsibilty on in the industries and disciplines we are in only to have the government turn around later and then take it away back into their control in fear that we have and will become to much of a force for them to contol. If you believe everything you wrote up top you are just living in a closet…… Sorry man.

    Don Sturm
    Master Electrician P.E.C.
    Business Owner since 1995

  2. Small and medium construction and renovators beware. Our businesses are under attack by none other than our own provincial government. They are trading away our livelihoods to the international unions for their support. This so called College of Trades is a sham. The Ontario Government is handing over every tradesman in the province to the construction trade unions. If you think getting work is tough now, wait until the international brotherhood gets their hands on your business. Soon, the only training for trade people in the province will be through union training centres. The training and registration of the construction trades must remain with the Ministry of College and Universities and out of hands and direct influence of the international trade unions.

  3. mike ford says:

    I have myself and my two sons are trades men with one employee (also a trades person) all this is going to do is make it more expensive to operate as a qualified company and make the unlicensed people more profitable and cheaper .
    I have a hard time believing that this is a move ahead and NOT a money grab.

  4. dustin says:

    dont even know how to respond to that, they must think we are all very stupid.

  5. Al says:

    In order to survive the economic crisis, we have to stay competitive.
    Employers need workers to be able to do different tasks.
    The OCT wants to implement a union style protectionism, where a worker with a license will do
    only the work that falls under the license. A worker without a license can’t do the job, even as a helper.
    OCT already has enforcement officers, and snitch line. They have already set up a way to get more of the trades compulsory.
    A millwright has to be able to do mechanical, machining, welding, electrical, rigging, carpentry….
    Under the new rules, they will be able to do only rigging, unless they get licenses for all the other trades.
    A hairdresser will not be allowed to cut hair without being licensed and paying to OCT $120 + HST.
    Apparently it is to promote the trades and protect consumers. From what?
    These tactics have been employed in many unionized businesses, and have resulted in huge job losses.

  6. Jamie says:

    It never ceases to amaze me that politicians and bureaucrats believe they have superior knowledge about any industry. History has shown they have no idea.
    The majority of these Bafoons have never operated a business, nor, have they put in the effort or hours that tradepersons do. They sit in their conditioned offices, chit chatting about how the union is not protecting them and how the government is screwing them over.
    This is just another way for organized labour unions to increase their numbers and put the death grip on the throats of the Ontario Taxpayers.
    Fight with all you’ve got.

  7. Al says:

    Ontario college of trades wants to impose fees on the trades, to protect the public.
    But not all the licensed workers are perfect, and not all unlicensed workers are bad.
    If you take a worker, who retired from a trade, can’t afford to pay fees, but helps out occasionally,
    now the college will prosecute this worker.
    The fees are not a proof of competence, it is a tax, which gets passed onto the consumer.
    This will make the underground economy more attractive.
    The college costs 10,000,000/ year and the cost is climbing.
    At $120 per person, it will take more than 80,000 workers to pay for the college with no benefit and
    only obstacles to productivity.

  8. Gord Pritchard says:

    We are overly regulated. The trades all say we need protection of our work. We are in danger of over protection. If a motor on a circulating pump for a gas fired boiler in a large condo has to be replaced then this is a possible situation. A Gas fitter one has to be present for the pump to be repaired. (TSSA) An electrical permit has to be obtained to remove and rewire the motor. (ESA) A possible electrician could be required. The pump is in the water line. We have not heard from the plumbers as yet. I am sure they will see what is happening and start lobbying to make sure a plumber should be involved. The motor will be really cheap compared to the labour. Will the College of Trades help?

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