Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

Stop the Trades Tax Coalition says certifying Ontario carpenters will kill jobs

Canadian Contractor

The Ontario College of Trades is trying to create a deliberate shortage of certified carpenters, its critics say, by forcing carpenters to join its organization

Editor’s Note:  Here’s a press release from the most vocal opponents of the Ontario College of Trades, the Stop the Trades Tax Coalition.  For more information on the Coalition, click here.

Toronto (March 11, 2014) – In response to the Liberal Government’s move to make carpentry a compulsory certified trade, Karen Renkema, Chair of the Stop The Trades Tax Campaign, issued the following statement:

“By forcing this onerous, bureaucratic licensing process on carpenters, the Liberal government is killing jobs for tens of thousands of workers who are currently employed in the trades, and swinging a hammer as part of their work. Framers, trim carpenters, home renovators and many more hardworking Ontarians who work in construction every day are going to be forced out of their jobs if this certification goes through.

“Rather than strengthening employment opportunities and promoting careers in the trades, the Liberal government is making the process to gain employment (or continue working) more onerous and affecting the livelihood of tens of thousands of Ontarians. Unfortunately, despite clear objections from tradespeople the Liberal government says they won’t even let an election hold up this industry-altering change.”


“We need to grow jobs and create opportunities for young people and make skilled trades more attractive and accessible. Ontario will be facing a shortage of workers in construction and rather than helping the industry to address this labour crisis, the Liberal government is more interested in placing barriers on job creation.”

“There is no reason for carpentry to require compulsory certification. We are mystified why the Government is supporting a measure that will kill jobs in our great province. This is an anti-worker proposal with its only interest in creating an artificial shortage of workers for the construction industry. It is time for this government to once and for all to stand up for hardworking tradespeople, preserve their jobs and livelihoods and say no to compulsory certification of carpenters.”


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8 Comments » for Stop the Trades Tax Coalition says certifying Ontario carpenters will kill jobs
  1. Marv Schupp says:

    It is absolutely unbelievable to me that our provincial government has nothing better to do with it’s time then to harass, honest, hardworking, TAX PAYING, trades people. I am a self employed carpenter and I am actually licensed. There are not many of us around. I have had my own business for 23 years and I guess that qualifies me as being reasonably successful. I work every day with very highly skilled people in the construction industry who are not licensed who are as highly skilled, if not more so than I am…. including my own employee who’s skill level in the cabinet making industry is at a level few will ever reach. He’s not licensed. Any company in the industry would love to have an employee with his skills, licensed or not.
    A person achieves skill in a trade through hard work and years of experience, not through a “College” that teaches absolutely nothing. Who will certify the unlicensed trades people in question? Who will train the new people coming into the trade when so few are apparently qualified to do so? The government? The unions? The College of Trades is nothing more then another “revenue tool” that the current provincial government has come up with to fund their ever increasing spending habits and to control yet another area of our ever increasingly regulated lives. It will do nothing but punish the legitimate trades people and swell the numbers of those working in the underground economy, just like the mandatory WSIB regulations have done.
    Yell, scream, call your MPP, call your local media outlets, let people know about this unfair, un-necessary intrusion into how we earn our living in an already over regulated industry. Let’s stand up and be heard.

    Marv Schupp
    Mount Brydges On

    • Justin Sheppard says:

      We are all one of a dying breed this is one of the trades where it makes you or breaks you as a person not in value like financially but it will determine whether you want to do it or not therefore there is no certification in my opinion that should be enforced to become hey Carpenter AKA swinging hammer out on the battlefield everyday to rain snow or shine sometimes whatever it takes to meet deadline etc. Think about all the wasted and financial debt situations that will be caused over this because this is not an easy trade that’s why the turnover rate is that such high ratios because physically hard work that is behind it all not many people want to do after they see the real picture of it and witness it and firsthand experience physically themselves. I am a self-employed business owner framer/carpenter one of a dying breed true to the day I die. I take pride in what I do and every nail driven cut made etc a little bit of my heart and soul goes into it as the countless amount of blood sweat and tears went into learning and it is something that you can never know everything about as this day and age design and style of things just change like the weather and therefore along goes with the structure the fundamentals behind it the material used the building codes fastening details and specifications to meet required code demands of all forever changing structure styles updated modern home designs or any type of building as soon as you start your day or anyone starts your day. I sure hope they think your framer because there would be nothing if it wasn’t for us putting our lives in line everyday and this is where I say it makes or breaks you because yes where everything looks so good on paper and I will guarantee and from first-hand experience I would say the overall rate of things produced by this advanced the world of computers. That more than likely when designed wasn’t accompanied by somebody that had personal first hand experience and doing it themselves by backing what was designed and created and what should theoretically work in real life because not always it all fall into place. From all the jobs I’ve worked throughout my years in to be coming what I love doing and would choose nothing else but. I’ve never seen such a high turnover rate for employees to keep employees etc. Also just imagine what they’re going to do if they enforce us to be certified as well as what it’s going to do to the pricing rate for your average customer to have something built regardless of it being anything from a window replacement to a deck to a house to anything I would say the price I would have to start charging would probably almost double because all these millennials who want everything for nothing not to be stereotypical but we’re at the day and age now where everybody needs to take a break because their feelings been hurt because either they got s*** for not doing what they’re supposed to playing on their phone on social media not giving a s*** etc. So them having a certified ticket to claim that they qualify think about what they’re going to want for a going rate and what it will do to the construction market especially a residential one

  2. Guy Whissel says:

    This has nothing to do with qualifications of workers, simply controlling and taxing the industry once again. The government is incapable of making any difficult decision as it’s mandate is votes! Nothing else. They should perhaps pay attention to what the Quebec construction industry is going thrugh. Total corruption is inevitable!

  3. Steve Ridgley says:

    Once again the Ontario Government illustrates its blatant disregard for not only the wishes of its constituents but of common sense logic as well.

    While television programming glorifies the concept of DIY to the masses, whether it be a complete remodel of a home or a radical modification of a motorized vehicle, the government in its infinite wisdom deems professional contracting and renovations (professional here being defined as an entity carrying a license to conduct business and contributing to the tax coffers) as a target for stricter guidelines and oversight. Enter the OCOT.

    It’s a sad state of affairs when the Government gives all appearances of falling into the trap of believing what it sees on ‘reality’ television. One can only assume by its actions that it has put complete stock into the opinions expressed on a certain Holmes improvement show that all renovators and contractors are hacks. How else can it be explained that enlistment in the carpenters union will become mandatory for everyone from full time carpenters to handymen and maintenance men?

    Now don’t get me wrong, I fully agree with ensuring that the person engaging in structural construction should be qualified to perform such work in principle. I might even be persuaded to agree that the government should on some level have a watchdog process in place to verify that no one is being placed in danger by questionable construction methods or practices and that building codes are being adhered to.

    One would almost think that a system of permits and inspections might be in order. With a system like that, theoretically, the work that was being done would conform to standards that have been set out.

    Call me crazy, but if we had building permits issued at a city level and inspections done by qualified individuals retained by the city for that exact purpose, then all work that needed it would be certified and qualified. Why, something like that would make individual certification and qualification redundant wouldn’t it?

    I’m unsure how forced enlistment in a union is going to magically certify someone like myself to be a qualified carpenter. I’m certainly not going to close my business down and undertake an apprenticeship for the next several years so that I can once again reopen and continue what I am currently doing (currently I do building maintenance for cooperative housing, things like painting, flooring, drywall repairs, installing smoke detectors and tightening loose cabinet door hinges…..pretty in depth carpentry if you ask me.)

    I’m fairly certain that for the right amount of money I can buy into the union, start paying dues, pay my blood money to OCOT and have a verified track record toward my hours, but how is that changing anything from the current state of affairs?

    Due to the WSIBs determination that I am a renovator and my subsequent mandatory involvement with them under a construction classification I have already had to hit my customers with a substantial increase this year to offset the increased costs. Am I supposed to now go back to them not even 2 months later and hit them with yet another? I can’t see that one going over well.

    Like most I am self-employed by choice, but after 15 consecutive years of self employment and over 25 years throughout my lifetime I am fairly certain that my options for employment are limited. If this goes through I will at 48 years of age be forced to make a decision that I can foresee having no positive outcome either way; either to close down my business and take a job as a greeter somewhere, or go with the flow and starve due to overwhelming overhead costs.

    I’m not sure what the worst part of this scenario will be for me….but when the government finally succeeds in putting me out of business as they seem hell-bent to do with all these tax grabs, it will be extremely hard to cheerfully grin and bear it when I make my tax filing that year.

    Better still, it will be a new government when that happens and they will just shrug and pass it off as the result of the last government.

  4. Questo says:

    HI Alec, Two large community clubs were contacted, and guess what:
    About 98% of those where there of a group at one club were on the dark.
    I mean a lot of different trades are not informed, what is going on?.

    Your Info were given to those wanted, and surprise,,,,,,,, people were very receptive. Another club I had a meeting with the desk people, cazzo cazzo mama mia, you know, were not a aware either.

    Now I a m trying to get the presidents of these large community clubs if they want like, a large reception on this issues, maybe you or Rob Koci may have to address the meeting, on further notice.

    All the info were given, including the MPPs Randy and Garfield, and they were told about the phone conference too. I notice people are in the state of awe.

    A good way to make payments to the OCOT if one wish to pay at all, for those on the compulsory trades now. There is people with brilliant ideas everywhere.


    Do not sign their document, keep it, don’t sent to them at all.

    To whom this concern, OCOT

    As we all know this pass winter was very bad, and still, and I am in financial stress.

    My priorities are:

    a) Provide financial security status for me and my family, That’s my legal obligation.

    b) My founds are short, and I am having difficulty make ends meat.

    b) I am working beyond the point of my own safety and health protection,
    working to many hours, to support the many unwanted burden taxation in all shapes and forms, plus unnecessary fees and memberships, unwanted plutocracies; so called democratic rule of law.

    d) As I am trying to protect my image, my business, my family, my credit, and so on: would like to make some payment, to contribute to your unwanted idiologies. without any benefit, toward my career.

    (Option one, $ 6.66, option two, $9.99, temporay only ,

    Option three from $40.00 to $60.00 or less ( on $120) ( Check) as your college cash it, a full payment, will be deemed accepted in full agreement and license or membership without delay. I will fill your unwanted membership when your confirmation of acceptance is meet.

    So here is a check on the total, $6.66 dollars, per monthly bases, but nothing will warranty the next payment, because if your college deemed my certificate illegal I not be able to work.

    So accepting this payment means an active (temporary) agreement, and I will be able to work and support me, my family and trying to control my hard financial shape. Please sent to me by mail the accepted agreement in writing.

    if this proposals aren’t accepted, by your college, I will not be able provide and support me, my family, all the expenses I do have and obligation agreements, as house mortgage, utility bills, transport, food, cloths, property tax, medical bills, and others etc.

    If I lose my job my financial hard ship, will turn into hell, and recourses are: legal action will be taken, for imposing and forcing payments which I can not afford in exchange of decertified my career of chose.

    If your college, choose not to agree, and want a full payment, will be seen a breach of laws under the affordable means. I remind your college, Canada have
    a lot of NFPO on the third world countries to prevent abusive ways of imposing tyrannical systems with no means of their own existence, to prevent abuse.

    So your college by not excepting afford able means of payment will be consider unlawfull. And further more was founded on these bases..



    After the second later of notice, there is 60 days to send payment, for those wish to pay them.

    good luck to all

  5. Oleber says:

    Honorable Ex MP Paul Hellyier can explain to you about the financial mess.

    After you watch this video you will have your mind clear why governments want us to be slaves. I am a aware of this mess for very long time.

    Apparently the Liberal government want tool lanes fees high ways or roads, where is unknown, to pay for the GTA subway, they may have this new shit on their budget this spring. I just wonder when this abusive shit is gonna end.
    And they, the Liberals take responsibility for their mismanagements public founds, to serve their special interests lobbyists.

    Its getting to the point of unbearable.

  6. Oleber says:

    If can’t open directly copy and paste to Google site. And you may see ”Inside job avi ” that’s the video Very educative and worded watching.
    If you could see it trough to the end, you may say these things may not happen here, well , think again, don’t fool your self.

    Form the macro to the micro parasites, and wee all, people are paying for it.
    yeah, at 1,43,minute the Chinese guy says, financial engineers build dreams and real engineers build real stuff, dreams turned into nightmares on a cost of people and their destruction.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Ontario College of Trades is apparently modeling their proposals for organizing labor after the Quebec example. Should they be successful, the cost of labor will rise, new bureaucracies will be created, labor unions will become more powerful (and much richer), The labor black market will become larger because people will balk at paying outrageous source deductions, union fees, etc., on top of mandated controlled salaries.
    My conspiratorial mind sees union financing and support behind this move. In Montreal they don’t try to disguise or hide the relationships, their offices are all in the same complex.
    Please don’t attach my name to this comment, I have enough fights with Quebec at present, and these people are known to be very vindictive.

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