Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

Post of the week: More disturbing facts from Joe Greps on the Ontario College of Trades

Canadian Contractor

The Ontario Ministry of Labour very definitely was in the business of checking contractors' credentials, Greps says. And, no, the Ontario College of Trades does not currently have the funding to do all of the things it says it is going to do.

Editor’s Note:  A reader posted a comment here last week that questioned our reader Joe Greps’ claim that Ontario Ministry of Labour construction inspectors were tasked with checking tradespersons’ credentials.  (The Ontario College of Trades is now taking that over, and the Ontario MoL is getting out of that task.) The reader also questioned Joe’s claim that the Ontario College of Trades cannot possibly fulfil its mandate without significant new revenue streams.

Joe quite adamantly defended his claims, with documentation, as below:




The MOL most certainly does check tradespeople for licencing and I have myself been carded multiple times during my 25 years in the trades.

As far as my numbers are concerned I will stand by them, if you want facts you can freely review the Colleges recent registrars report at:

Things you might want to note from it:

“Sixteen Enforcement Officers have started field related activity throughout the province.” “The budget provides for a second wave of recruiting of additional officers, subject to the College meeting its revenue projections.”

Revenues from April 8 – May 29 were $2.3M (works out to about $.3M a week or $16M a year)

Exactly as I called it.

Other interesting things from the report:

“The College is required (under Section 25.5 of the Act) to have a Chief Diversity Officer (CDO)”

They have to contribute $250000 a year to continue with Red Seal exams.

Prosecution of members requires the College to invest in everything from legal services to evidence lockups.

Strikes me that $16M has to go a long way, I guess that is opinion but I will make mine clear – there is no way this College can appropriately meet their mandate with their given budget.


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4 Comments » for Post of the week: More disturbing facts from Joe Greps on the Ontario College of Trades
  1. Patrick Grieco says:

    “there is no way this College can appropriately meet their mandate with their given budget”

    So is it safe to assume they are going to have find ways to raise their revenue through aggressive enforcement and fines, jacking up membership fees and ….?

    Unfortunately I can’t see them being shut down because they are bleeding red ink, especially under the liberal government.

  2. Reg Russell says:

    It seems to me to be a case of “Empire building” by the College. The most alarming fact is their desire to control the trade credentials of workers in other jurisdictions I can just image the Quebec response to their actions. I am an Inter-provincial Red Seal Electrician who received certification in Ontario but have not worked there since 1985. I will have a very definite response if they come calling here in NS. Stuff it !!!! .

  3. Joe Greps says:

    Steve I just wanted to say thanks for giving this issue some attention.

    I know when I talk to my peers on site most all are of them are appalled by this college and there is a growing frustration that no one is listening or acting on it. The campaign is anemic at best, various MPP’s in the Conservative party have spoken out but mostly it’s worthless vote pandering (Huron-Bruce’s Lisa Thompson that stated about the college “It’s going to get really costly for some people that hold three or four or five different licences.” – which to be fair to the college is a nonsense argument as they only bill for the first one).

    Conversely the OCOT board of governors chair Ron Johnson seems to enjoy unfettered access to the media to promote his organization with ludicrous statements like this weeks gem:

    “On a $5 million (construction) job, a $120 fee is going to make the difference between winning and losing the bid? That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”

    No actually that would be doing a $5M tender with one worker… I guess it should be no surprise a government bureaucrat has no concept of the realities of competitive bidding – small numbers do matter.

    Anyways thanks again Steve, I think we can all see where this college will lead – another product of the eHealth/ORNGE government with bloated wages, massive debts and unsatisfactory performance.

  4. Steve Payne says:

    Joe, thanks for this and your other posts. There is a lot that is disturbing about Ron Johnson’s latest statements to the media (hadn’t seen that one about the $120 difference on a $5,000,000 job – ludicrously misleading), including a recent one that the trades were, essentially, before OCOT, unregulated!

    On your point about, I think they were the only people raising these issues at first and have done a good job raising valid concerns, and I’ve got more information from them recently that I’m just about to publish. Yes, the pledges from the various Conservative politicians opposing the OCOT sound like electioneering, but again, generally only the Conservatives have shown up to talk at anti-OCOT events, only the Conservatives have opposed OCOT in debates at Queen’s Park. They deserve credit for that.

    This is a tough one. OCOT is easy to sell to the public in sound bites, since it just sounds so legit to have a “College,” etc. Stay tuned.

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