Compulsory certification of the carpentry industry will cripple the construction industry in Ontario
Carpenters and renovators have, for the first couple of years of the Ontario College of Trades' existence, been given the choice whether they wanted to pay OCOT's fees or not. That could be over soon.
By Steve Payne
The Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) is now looking at designating carpentry – which by a strict definition includes all renovators in the province – as a “compulsory” trade.
If this goes through, all carpenters will legally have to join the College and pay its annual fees. The Ontario College of Trades trains no workers and teaches no courses. Fees are paid simply to appear “in good standing” on the OCOT’s publicly-searchable website.
A report in the Toronto Sun (here) quotes Tyler Charlebois, a spokesperson for OCOT, as confirmed that a motion was passed by the OCOT on Feb. 20 seeking a trade classification review for “general carpentry.”
Here is the Ontario government’s official definition of a general carpenter…
1. Establishing building procedures
2. Preparing a work site for building
3. Laying out, constructing and installing form work
4. Framing floors, walls, ceilings and roofs
5. Installing interior and esterior finihsing materials and hardware
6. Constructing heavy framing using post and beam and timber construction
7. Building stairs, newel posts, handrails and ballustrades
8. Laying out, constructing and installing door and window systems including hardware
9. Performing renovations. O. Reg 275/11, s.15.
The Toronto Sun story quotes Progressive Conservative MPP Garfield Dunlop, a licensed plumber and outspoken critic of the OCOT, as follows:
“This is so absolutely insane. I don’t know how any government could possibly allow this to happen. Compulsory certification of the carpentry industry will cripple the construction industry in Ontaro.”
Certificates of qualification in carpentry have not been historically required in Ontario to do most carpentry work, and very few renovators have C of Q’s in carpentry. But if the OCOT makes this category of trade “compulsory,” the carpenters and renovators will need to become certified or, under the Ontario College of Trades Act, be working illegally.
Dunlop suggested, according to the Toronto Sun article, that the province will allow compulsory certification of carpenters to go through as a thank-you for union support.
The OCOT is slowly wending its way through almost all “trades” in the province, making them “compulsory” members of its organization. It has so far mandated that 22 of 156 trades join up.