Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

Opinion: Liberal majority in Ontario is ominous news for the province's renovation contractors

Canadian Contractor Professional

The Ontario College of Trades, its bureaucrats and union-backers, and the underground economy contractors, all got a big boost to their businesses with Wynne's election. The legitimate contractors out there just got another mouth to feed for the next four years.

The Ontario College of Trades will be emboldened by the election of Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals to an 11-seat majority at Queen’s Park. The PC party had promised to abolish the controversial Bay Street bureaucracy, which posts confidential information about contractors on public websites, whose board of directors is undemocratic and totally based on “appointments” – and whose enforcement officers had been seen hitting up legal, above board and tax-paying contractors – demanding to see their membership cards – during their coffee breaks at Tim Hortons.

Wynne admitted during the campaign that the Ontario College of Trades had been heavily criticized, but she deflected that criticism by saying that new categories of “compulsory” trades had been put on hold. They were put on hold just before an election the Liberals were heading into with a precarious minority and a well-deserved reputation as one of the most corrupt provincial governments in Canadian history.

Now that the College’s future is ensured, we’ll see how long that “on hold” stuff lasts, with respect to making drywall and carpentry “compulsory” trades. Meaning, you may very soon have to join the College of Trades to practice those trades – and you’ll need a Certificate of Qualification – if the College’s “review panels” proceed with their plans – to do so.

If those trades are forced into the fold, even a veteran – for example – renovator will not be able to legally do carpentry (insanity) or drywalling (insanity) without a membership in this organization. All this under the guise of “promoting the trades” (by strengthening the underground economy) and “protecting the public” (by misleading them into thinking that a membership in this dictatorial organization that teaches no courses and trains no workers, has any meaning whatsoever as far as the quality of a tradesman’s work).


MPP Garfield Dunlop, the PCs skilled trades and apprenticeship critic – and licensed plumber – has campaigned for much of the past year to rid our industry of yet another layer of bureaucracy and harassment, by abolishing the College. Dunlop was re-elected in his Simcoe North riding, but if he is to continue to lead the criticism of this organization at Queen’s Park, he will need your help. Only the loud voices of contractors across the province – debunking  the misleading information pumped out by the College’s union friends and expensive PR practioners – to customers and the mainstream media – will slow the growth of what could be a giant bureaucracy within a few years.

Just what everyone needed, another obstacle to making a living as an ethical, hard-working and above-board contractor. Just what everyone needed: more jet fuel for the underground guys, who won’t be joining the College, won’t be paying their WSIB, and won’t be paying their taxes. Those guys will continue as they always have. Lots more formerly above-board professional contractors will be tempted to join them, working for cash, permit-less, trying to stay off the radar. And if Wynne keeps on using her favourite term “Revenue Tools” to stop Ontario from going bankrupt (not unforeseeable) Ontario contractors can expect to see even more WSIB cash-grabs that will make the Ontario College of Trades’s own taxes and harassment look like a tupperware party. Oh, and here comes the Ontario Pension Plan. Contractors will love that one, too. No one is doing more than the Liberals to make sure the cash economy goes into hyper-drive. And you’ll be branded a criminal if you cry uncle and are forced to join them. What a mess.




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21 Comments » for Opinion: Liberal majority in Ontario is ominous news for the province's renovation contractors
  1. corie says:

    Unsubscribe me from this bullshit.

  2. Diana Brown says:

    My vote didn’t help but I really needed PC’s and Hudak to lead this province out of the misery put in place by the Liberals. I went to bed last night after watching the results knowing that if the Liberals implement an Ontario Pension Plan my husbands business with his 6 to 8 employees may be in jeopardy.
    After watching the Orgne disaster, the E health mess, the gas plants, and the College eat away our hard earned tax dollars I have a hard time believing they should be in charge of our pension money. Our employees pay taxes, we match the CPP and pay more for the EI and now we have to contribute to their Ontario pension.
    Imagine – Ms Wynne will build a huge building – employee hundreds of government workers to collect, invest, and monitor the Ontario pension plan funds and then – “oops SORRY, so SORRY, we made a mistake. We invested your money but sadly we made mistakes. So SORRY. I Apologize. I will keep Apologizing. Your pension money is gone. We will apply to increase the HST to recover the funds. But I am so SORRY. Forgive me and reelect me!!”
    And guess what? Apparently we will.Shame on us.

    • JIm Groves says:

      Hi Steve.
      Would you mind if I forwarded your initial post on this blog to my local newspaper in Collingwood.

      • Steve Payne says:

        By all means, Jim. BTW your MPP was at the Press Conference announcing the PC’s official pledge to ditch the OCOT.

  3. Robert Sloan says:

    “Bob’s Renovating Service” – Half off to those homeowners who decline access the CoT enforcement officers. From my perspective, the underground economy has really shrank in size over the past decade or so. This will likely change that very quickly. It’s full steam ahead on C of T and Ontario pensions.

  4. Questo says:

    This majority out of the minority may not last longer, wherever she goes will look like Santa, with the bag on her back, but without presents only scandals and more to fill until the bag will burst. The reality will kick in soon.

    If half or more of the population refuse to vote, in Ontario was around 63% turn out, to whom forms government shouldn’t be called majority even in this case as happen on June 12/2014.

    Those refuse to vote have their motive, and lot of them are immigrants, can’t vote at all.

    Now the trades people apparently are on their own, to fight for their rights.

  5. Mike Hawk says:

    Thanks for the motivation, Kath. Just installed an A/C unit for cash.!!!!!
    Three grand in my pocket baby. Suck it up. Ain’t nobody got time for your crap, I’m takin care of my family first. Oh, and by the way, don’t accuse me of taking and not contributing. When I had my back issues last year, I went to a private clinic, and paid for my own rehab. Our health care system is more broken than our apprenticeship system

  6. dan says:

    hudak has the right idea. time to jump ship and get the hell outta here. alberta and the western provinces are about to see a surge of tradespersons running from the sinking ship that is ontario.
    so sad the see a strong province brought to its knees by a whinning woman stomping her feet, when she doesnt get her way, wanting more and more (money, power, ego stroking etc) until she has sucked you dry and left u to die in a pile of dust.
    really pondering about moving my family west, can’t afford to live here, most utilities going up. and a lot harder to get work.

    thanks for reading my rant.

  7. Brian says:

    Simply astounding!
    I’m a reasonably intelligent individual but I can’t, for the life of me, understand the thinking of the ‘majority’ of Ontarions. This election just boggles my mind, as well as, the majority of sensible thinking Canadians outside of this confused and boondoggled province. Amazing!
    10 minutes of Web research reveals that, in the last 15 years of Liberal rule in Ontario, there have been over 50 scandals, innumerable tax increases and entitlement spending to the tune of many billions of dollars!
    Why can’t Ontarions understand that they are broke? The answer to this is, very unfortunately for the rest of this country, quite simple.Ontario Provincial Liberal spending promises relying on transfer payments. It’s just so sad. Ontario can’t seem to make a decent go of anything because their paradigm is that they are the center of the universe and this entire country can go bottoms up, as long as, they get their fairytale political dreams met.
    Look at yourselves in the mirror. Toronto has a drunken, cracked smoking, Mayor who has become a pathetic joke around the world. This is the largest city in our beautiful country. Should it not be a shining example of who Canadians are? Instead, it’s our national humiliation. 15 years, and more, of Liberal politics in your province has created you as a ‘have not’ welfare state, and now, you choose to continue this path.
    The liberal machine, in your province, decided to make McGinty the bad guy to get rid of. Don’t you think that he was voted into leadership because he was willing to tow the Public and Private Union lines? Now you have Wynne and all of the same people behind her. Do you really imagine that anything will change? Oh, of course, one thing will. You’ve now voted in a new Premiere with a homosexual self-interest. Can you guess where even more of our tax dollars are going? I say, our tax dollars, because it’s all about transfer payments to your bankrupt province. Actually, the term bankrupt could be used quite loosely here (responsibly, ethically, nationally, even morally).
    Here in Alberta, we let our Premiere go after a $40,000 error in judgment. It hurt us to see her go but she knew it was wrong and she, personally, paid the money back. Compare that to the billions that your corrupt government is squandering in the face of bankruptcy. Oh, right, I forgot, bankruptcy won’t happen because you just live off the back of the other provinces.
    It’s just plain disheartening that the largest populist center of the greatest country
    on Earth could exercise such bad judgment. Here, in Alberta, we expected a lot more integrity and intelligence.
    The next time I’m in Ontario I won’t be feeling like the country hick ’cause I’ll be in Oz. Move over, Dorothy.
    You have hundreds of thousands of union members supporting their unions who, in turn, support your Liberal government. How can you, possibly, think that your beloved Liberals care one iota about you, the voter.

    • Bob2 says:

      Correction, we have to the tune of 1.5 million civil servants hence why she won, 2 dozen unions blasted Hudak everyday on prime time, convinced their union members that they best vote wynne or become jobless etc, etc.

      Ontario is clearly going down the wrong route, there has been some whispers that she may be like mcguinty in more then one way, lie to get into power then do the opposite of what she ran on.

      • Brian says:

        I stand corrected. Too funny. Of course, she’s worse than McGuinty. Has there been one change in party members or policy? It’s like working for a sleazy GC who tells you that everything will be better now because he fired the project manager. It’s the company that hired the project manager to fit it’s practices. Chances are the next one will be worse unless management or ownership changes. The only way to have cleaned house would have been to change parties and demand accountability. Might as well preach to the choir.

      • Bob2 says:

        Brian – I’m in agreement 100%, the liberals are the same party mcguinty led. The nosebleed for me was the fact that Ontarians were ok with the billions spent on fraud and buying seats, on the other hand I never expect a liberal to be good with money, my bro in law is a small biz owner and is as dumb as a bag of hammers, he voted lib and knew nothing about the proposed pension plan..go figure, these are the kinds of people voting and winining.

  8. Lee Tokar says:

    As a veteran renovator/builder since 1969, I have constantly built my reputation on adhering to a simple code of building to last, even if it meant overkill on a project. The best return for providing good workmanship to my homeowner-clients over the years is never having to get stiffed for that all-important final payment on a project. Today, I still maintain that no nonsense approach in my kitchen design/renovation business, where even the inkling of shoddy workmanship does not go unnoticed by the ever scrupulous homeowner. They set the bar for excellence and we strive to meet that challenge, each and every day.
    Throughout my career I have had low-priced competition from many sources in the marketplace, some of which I find immoral. By that I am referring to the well-paid individuals in the teaching sector as well as firefighters and even policemen. Their career work schedules are custom made for doing underground renovations.If this college of trades certificate requirement will put a serious dent in these kinds of renovation activities, then I am all for it, even if with all of my credentials as a renovation expert, I must apply for this ticket, as well. That is of course, as long as those career professionals are not allowed to be part of this elite renovation club that the province is asking me to join. If a teacher, fireman and cop can become renovators, then maybe I too should be an underground renovator, just like them.

  9. Terry says:

    Lee I dont see how the ocot can make a difference, they have no real power that I know of. I have a neighbor that is a licensed plumber , I asked him last night if he had heard from them he said yes , I asked if he paid it and he said no and told them to go f themselves, I also wondered about them stopping vehicles in the Timmies parking lot , really , and they all complied , im glad it wasnt me , I have no fear and no respect for any of them and im sure there would have been a physical altercation. As for the liberals getting in , HOW , am I missing something or are there many blind ontarians out there , the scandels are piling up and whats with the media ? If a conservative farts they are all over it but the liberals do what ever they want and the only way we hear about it is on the internet. I suppose that is why they want to censor it. Last week I had a customer tell me he was in the horse racing buisness for 40 years and the liberals did something and he is no longer in buisness, wow does that guy ever hate Wynne. How come we never hear about that stuff. Anyhow I dont think if you refuse to comply with the ocot that that makes you a fly by nighter , if we all dont draw the line and fight back , we close up shop and run west then we are.

    • Brian says:

      Hi Lee, good point. That’s how the Main Stream Liberal Media works. If you’re a hard working individual with a decent sense of how to get along with others and respect their democratic freedoms, you will never understand the Liberal mentality.

  10. Dan says:

    My mom, who works for ontario housing, was Told, not asked, not to vote for hudak or some of her fellow employees would lose their jobs.

    If all the union run companies, like caterpillar, auto sector and others move out of the province, and other auto sector companies like toyota keep out the unions, who pays the unions so they can have big cottages, or new carpenters union buildings, or ocot building or unifor building in all the town/cities etc. To keep the beast going they need to collect (bully) money from someone and it has become the little people of ontario. The ocot is the strong arm (bully) they are using to collect from everyone!! Who is on the list for ocot trades? Everyone from a hairdresser to drywaller to carpenter to….is what you or your wifes profession on that list?

    The whole province of ontario is going down the path of becoming a unionized province, or is it a militarized state.

    People will not be able to afford to live here, the price for most services will skyrocket….

    It pisses me off, an organization that was designed to protect people (unions) from bullys is now the ones who are being the bully.

  11. Questo says:

    Hi guys, great comments, The unions in this province haven’t done a thing to hold jobs in here. In special, the manufactory sector, just give a lot at the south west of Ontario they were hit really hard, can’t be forgiven not forgotten.

    About the OCOT, if we the trades people get together, this beast of all violations can be closed in a hard bit.

    A) they claim to protect the costumers, really? lets give a look which ones they really protect.

    All certified compulsory trades people, working in factories, mines, oils fields, power stations and other power sources, hydro workers, etc.
    These aren’t working directly with the costumers, and a lot more other companies; So, all this compulsory certified people are paying for the OCOT in an apparent extortion and lies, deception, misleading, miss representing, fraud, etc.

    B) The ones the OCOT want to dominate are the construction industry and the average Joe, running his small business, can’t no longer afford more red tapes.
    Now single out the private sector, and self employed business as a target of apparent trade tax, with all this rhetoric protections.

    C) The Teacher college is a public sector and was voted for theirs, now the private sector may not fit in the same laws as the public, in the eyes of this Liberals and all their cronies.

    One more reason for all of us compulsory trades or not, in all sectors to get together and fight to eliminate this creation. Doing so, those are in the electrical trade, having their business, should fight the same to eliminate the ecra.

    Certified compulsory electricians working for factories are excluded from the ecra program. So once more was another target towards self employed business and electrical contractors. A single out target, to extorted.

    This apparent tax extortion, can be stop it, if all trades people really care for it.

  12. Metallofu says:

    Despite my desire to jump from the only province I’ve lived in (53 Yrs.) to another location in Canada, due to the increased pressure on the small business’; in particular the trades , I am concerned for words like “Harmonization” within the trades across Canada.
    See article (attached link): Though I didn’t see the word “harmonization” within the article the title has it in “BOLD”. Hint hint clue clue.”?

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