Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

Readers' Post of the Week: The Ontario College of Trades reminds him of "Florida and cheap land"

Canadian Contractor Auto

Reader Joe Kreps not impressed after doing the math on recent claims by the Ontario College of Trades

Editor’s Note:  We reported last month on the Ontario College of Trades hiring its first 20 “enforcement officers.” We further reported on a published quote from Ron Johnson, the College’s chairman, about how the trades had lacked regulation before the Ontario College of Trades began sending out its invoices to tradespeople this year, providing funding for what Mr. Johnson claims will be a crackdown on unlicensed contractors and the underground economy. Yet the Ontario Ministry of Labour has been checking tradespeople’s credentials for years, with a field force of over 140 construction inspectors who have been told to stop doing that work by April of next year.

These articles received responses from many contractors, including this one from CANADIAN CONTRACTOR reader Joe Greps:

Re: How’s that for ethics from the Ontario College of Trades?

They only have 20 enforcement officers because that’s likely all they can afford.

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Officers are members of OPSEU and earn around $70K a year plus benefits and pension, add in auto/travel allowances and you’re looking at likely in the area of $125K each. So 150 of them would cost $19M

Ron Johnson, chair of the Ontario College of Trades, is on record as saying the College has a budget of around $20M, (150 000 compulsory tradesmen at $120 is $18M).

In short, in order to match the current enforcement level offered by the Ontario Ministry of Labour, JUST for construction, would require their entire budget. That leaves nothing for license administration, promotion of trades, legal, building costs (they are on Bay Street), etc.

Think about it:

Ontario is geographically large, has 13.5 million people, 500 000 tradespeople, (150 000 compulsory ). This College claims that for $20M/yr they can address every complaint from bad brake jobs to bad haircuts (compulsory trade complaints MUST be investigated), enforce unlicensed contractors, promote trades, conduct ratio reviews, and administer apprenticeships and trades licensing.

Something about Florida and cheap land comes to mind….

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