UPDATED: ‘Regulatory and administrative oversight’ of Ontario College of Trades transferred to Ministry of LabourCanadian Contractor
But there is no indication they will stop collecting millions of dollars in annual fees from already licensed tradespeople
UPDATED MAY 20
An earlier (May 18) version of this story said that the Ontario College of Trades was transferring its “policing” to the Ontario Ministry of Labour. A letter to Canadian Contractor today from David Tsubouchi, the OCOT’s Registrar and CEO, says that it is not the “policing” but the “regulatory and administrative oversite” of the College that is being transferred to the Ministry of Labour, from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. Tsubouchi writes: “I would like to assure your readers that the College’s enforcement officers will continue to enforce the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009 as it applies to the 22 compulsory trades in Ontario…” See the full letter here.
The Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) is transferring its “regulatory and administrative oversight” to the province’s Ministry of Labour (MOL), effective immediately, according to a news item in the Daily Commercial News.
The publication says it got this news from a May 9 memo co-signed by MOL acting deputy minister Sophie Dennie and the Ministry of Trades Colleges and Universities (MCTU) deputy minister Sheldon Levy, and distributed to “industry stakeholders.”
When OCOT commenced operations in 2013 (i.e., billing already licensed and certified plumbers, electricians, HVAC mechanics, sheet metal workers and numerous other trades what were and are essentially surcharges on their existing credentials), its promoters frequently stated that the OCOT would be “self-governing,” moving enforcement of trades credentials from the MOL and the MCTU to the trades themselves.
So much for that.
Now that “regulatory and administrative oversight” seems to be moving back to the MOL, it remains to be seen what justification the OCOT will offer for maintaining offices – and dozens of employees – in some of Canada’s highest priced real estate at Bay Street and Wellesley Street in Toronto. Or for that matter, for continuing to bill already-licensed trades some $135 annually for the privilege of not being fined – and called out on OCOT’s public website as non-compliant – for not paying the OCOT fee.