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"The Ontario College of Trades is a trojan horse": Doug Leitch, Ontario Contractor and Small Business Association

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OCOT is a destructive, government-imposed program that masquerades as a benign application, yet hides potentially dangerous predators, says Doug Leitch.

The following Letter to the Editor comes to us from Doug Leitch, who earlier this year established the Ontario Contractor and Small Business Association (OCSBA). Doug is based in Carleton Place, ON, and he’s an electrician by trade (Power Up Electrical).  As you can read here, Doug has done a lot of research into the structure, bylaws, appointments and general development of the newly-established Ontario College of Trades. He’s probably the only tradesperson in our industry who has delved this deeply into an organization that is mailing out $120 fees invoices to tens of thousands of tradespeople in the province, demanding they pay or say goodbye to the Certificate of Qualifications they already earned and paid for.


What is a Trojan Horse? A destructive program that masquerades as a benign application. The Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) is being masqueraded as the savior of our trades in Ontario, but beneath the well-spun anecdotes and marketing lies a destructive program that could do more harm than good.

[In passing the Ontario College of Trades Act that paved the way for this new organization], the Ontario Government propaganda has overtly tried to sell this as a new, modernized organization that will ensure “global competitiveness.” It is unclear, however, how additional layers of bureaucracy, interference and enforcement [in our industry] will ensure competitiveness.


The Ontario government is now in the business of establishing a membership organization.  The OCOT governing structure includes up to 98 appointed board members, enforcement officers, and a multitude of administrative staff. OCOT’s operating budget was not approved by the membership, its fees were not set by the membership, and not a single board member has been elected by the membership. It simply continues [the policy] of government appointments and skewed over-representation from special interest groups.

Once you penetrate the layers of governance at the OCOT, the persistent impression of union dominance is difficult to dismiss. All of the large Ontario unions are well represented in the OCOT governance structure and, viewing the list of for whom there is not mandatory membership, the web of union maneuvering appears to take shape. Goliath is being given a lot of influence against the small independent business. Though OCOT board representation is compensated by a nominal stipend and travel reimbursement, it appears Union members receive financial compensation above and beyond this, ensuring it is financially beneficial to be a representative. Compensation for non-union independent members would potentially not cover lost earnings, thus ensuring underrepresentation.

Unions are willing to pay to guarantee they retain the balance of power and control, masquerading as a fully representative governance structure with the advancement of policies favoring special interest groups. The OCOT puts forth comparisons to the College of Nurses and the College of Teachers, both organizations dominated by strong unions and comprised of members of a specific profession, another union connection by means of comparison. Lumping all tradespersons in one basket and saying we can successfully manage your best interests is narrow minded and ludicrous. Given the nature of their relationship, there are fundamental differences between the Union interests and the interests of non-union and Independent tradespersons, let alone amongst vastly different trades.

Though unions have provided influence in beneficial social programs in Canada one would be amiss to claim that unionization will ensure global competitiveness. Eastern Ontario tradespersons face stiff competition from Quebec tradespersons, who are exempt from OCOT membership or enforcement as well as other bureaucratic burdens and fees. Imposing another layer of fees and red tape will only serve to escalate their business costs and make them even less competitive. Imposing further regulation and fees will not make the Ontario economy more competitive, unnecessary bureaucratic burdens hurt the economy, increasing costs for taxpayers, customers and businesses. When businesses, big and small, are allowed to thrive naturally, the economy strengthens and we all benefit. Government interference rarely provides sustainable results and does more harm than good in relation to provincial or global competitiveness.

The OCOT claims a mandate to protect Ontario consumers.But the track record of government interference and scandals shows that this is rarely the end result. Are government officials tradespersons who have taken the time to fully understand the complexities of operating a business in rural and urban areas of the province? This “Big Brother” attitude is destructive to independent businesses and to the large entrepreneurial segment. Now “Big Brother” will have a detailed list of all mandatory tradespersons in the province, ensuring they are registered, licensed, paying their WSIB premiums and any future fees they want to impose at their discretion. Is the OCOT simply masquerading their true mandate with a claim that they are “protecting consumers,” or is it an issue of control under the pretext of public safety?

Stringent safety standards have been continuously implemented in Ontario for decades. Electrical tradespersons are governed by the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) which is much more adept and efficient at enforcing the intricate Electrical Code and permit inspections; they are experts in their trade evaluating experts in their trade. Building codes have been updated regularly to ensure high standards of safety and enforcement. Again, experts evaluating experts. Ministry of Labour officers regularly visit worksites to inspect certificate of qualifications and safe working conditions. Is public safety really the issue or a revenue generating cash cow strengthening the union power? I leave that question with you.

So do we have a Trojan horse? A destructive, government imposed program that masquerades as a benign application, yet hides potentially dangerous predators? The OCOT claims to protect the Ontario consumer, yet doesn’t directly claim to represent the best interest of all members. Below the surface, the OCOT lacks transparency and appears to be dominated by big union interests. Members have been given no power to elect their representative nor included in the establishment of fees or budgets. Mandatory membership excludes large unionized sectors of tradespersons such as all industrial certifications and concentrates on sectors with high concentrations of independent tradespersons. Voluntary tradespersons may be voluntary now but for how long? All tradespersons should be wary of the OCOT and who is actually driving the boat. A Trojan Horse has already been welcomed to our shores.


Doug Leitch

Ontario Contractor and Small Business Association (OCSBA)








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76 Comments » for "The Ontario College of Trades is a trojan horse": Doug Leitch, Ontario Contractor and Small Business Association
  1. Angel says:

    I am a small town hairstylist, I have been doing hair for 30 +years. We have only ever paid $60.00 for 3 years for our licence. Hairstylist do not make very much here in a small town. We don’t even come close to what a Plumber, Electrician, Miner or Millwright make a year. There are no set prices to which a Stylist charges for work. Where as the the above mentioned JOURNEY persons have a set hourly rate of what they can charge. So why would I pay the same amount to renew my licence when we are not in the same bracket? We are do not have a union in my Profession…everyone charges what they want and each and every hair salon have different prices. There are no regulations. I paid for the renewal of my licence in mid March and I paid $60.00 for 3 years. That is what I have been paying since I graduated from hairstyling school 30 plus years ago. Then they (Ontario College of Trades) sent me a letter stating that I owed them another $88.00 , for the balance owing I’m my amended renewal fee. WROUNG! Sorry but my licence says good through 03/05/2015! It is an official government issued licence. I am paid in full and it states that in plain black and white. So upon getting these letters of threats stating that they will suspend my licence….I sent them copies of the fact that I’m good through then. When they can say that all hairstylists can start charging $95.00 an hour for haircuts and other services….and our clients pay that without arguments…then I would consider paying this ridiculous amount ($120.00) for renewal of my 30 + years of my services. Thank you soooooo much Doug Leitch for this letter! Cheers to you!

    • Robert Koci says:

      Wow. Very cool that you commented. We tend to focus on the construction trades here, but you provide a whole new dimension to our discussion. You make some very good points about you wages VS electricians and plumbers. Hairdressers should be even more upset than us about the College of Trades.

      Thanks for coming to our site to comment.

  2. Greg Richardson says:

    BANG ON Doug. I just wish that more hands on trade workers like us would take the time to understand how bad this is for trades in general and the province of Ontario in particular. We need to let our voices be united and heard. In the beginning I was upset about the fee, but now the fact that I’m paying and have ZERO!!!!!!!! say, in anything, is what I have a real beef with now. The College of Trades will NEVER fix the real problems in trades, low numbers and low pay. I’m not fixing cars and trucks to get rich, thats for sure, I do it because I’m good at it and I take pride in the work that I do, like every other trades person. Being a member of the OCOT doesnt make me proud!

  3. John Westcott says:

    I have not received this letter (tax bill) yet and when I do I will throw it into the trash .I have two trade licenses,i am a general machinist and a millwright,neither of these trade licenses are required in order to work , all I need is a good attitude skills and tools (which I paid for myself ) my wages are so so ,getting higher as no one got into the trades and my skills are in high demand .If this tax is imposed on me I will retire ,creating another hole to be filled by the hordes of kids and immigrants rushing to Ontario and Canada , good luck … my wife is an early childhood educator and belongs to something similar she pays them 150 dollars a year for nothing …her license means nothing ….she EARNS MINIMUM WAGE …what are they doing for her ??? NOTHING …..another tax on people that can NOT afford it .

    • Diane Moss-Abele says:

      I’M an X ..ECE…due to the facts of having to pay 150.00 a year for nothing.
      Now apparently I cannot even call myself an ECE. what a load of …….
      Having ECE’s register was nothing more than a Union tactic, Teachers Union!!!
      Now that they have control over the RECE’s the Daycare system is nothing more that a bunch of paper work. RECE’s have little time to spend enjoying the wonders of working with small children and seeing them bloom.
      Ratio’s are increasing, service to the child/family will suffer.
      I even see some Schools are looking for Children from 18 months on…..
      The System has forced Daycare Closures all across the province and parents into the world of unliscened Daycares…..

  4. Joan Wright says:

    I am another Hairstylist who is IRATE about these changes, and totally understand John’s comment about his wife making minimum wage. Most, and I mean MOST hairdresser’s make minimum wage or at the very least commission at a 60/40 %. Split. 60% for the owner and 40% for the stylist. At the price of a average haircut, you would have to cut quite a few in order to turn over a decent wage. All must purchase and maintain their own tools and equipment also. Therefore, how on earth did we ever get lumped into this O.C.T. Journeyman’s category to begin with when most would be better off working at the local Timmy’s and be further ahead in the game? Our Industry was the only category selected under the Service Industry! How many waiters and waitresses would be scolding mad if they were forced to pay $120 to make minimum wage serving tables? This is absolutely ludicrous! And only serves to squash the hairdressing Industry completely!

  5. Corey Lyn Evans says:

    the OCOT can rub salt. How dare they threaten me after working 35 yrs in hair.
    This makes it better ? Better for who ? THEM !
    Mark my word, this will KILL hairdressers WITH JOBS.

  6. Josh Christopher says:

    I stopped reading after the union bashing got to be like white noise and it all got blurry. I’m just a lowly union worker. I just want to say that the vast majority of us are just as irate as you at the college of trades tax. I’m sure you would love nothing better than to pay higly trained trades people minimum wage in order to be ‘competitive’. Thats why union are here chief, we’re not going away.

    • Greg Richardson says:

      I left a union job for $7 more an hour way better benefits a better pension, time off when I want and respect for my talent. Now “I” set my rate of pay. Since leaving I have been offered many unionized jobs(because I see the big picture, I know ever aspect of my job and follow through), EVERY one of them had a lower compensation package. So you stay where you are and keep paying that extortion to your union every month. I and others like me will continue to stay non-union and laugh every month when your dues come due. CHEIF!

      • Larry Becker says:

        Greg,,, sounds like a bit of union bashing here..You, might want to take note of the fact that you are only one of a very few people that took the step you did, and for you, it turned out. I’m happy for you…People join unions for various reasons,,most people that do, have a better standard of living because of it..I’ve worked both sides of the fence, and I know plenty of people that think like you, and I respect that…I’ve been a member of the IBEW for over 40 years, and it has afforded me a very decent living, plus..That’s the path I took and am happy that I did that.. It worked out for me..Let’s not lose sight of the fact, that we can’t be divided here, being union, or non -union doesn’t matter.. Tradespeople have to stick together, and infighting only weakens the cause..I see now, some of the unions are now taking a stand against the OCOT.. I think you’ll see more go that way.. I had a conversation not long ago with Doug Leitch, a man that’s going above and beyond the call of duty, to get this thing abolished…We need to get behind him, and stand behind him..Remember, just because certain unions are maybe supporting the OCOT,, that does NOT mean the membership supports it.. I personally, DO NOT!!.. Rest assured I’m not alone..So, forget about the union, non-union thing.. If this infighting is going to persist, you’re playing right into their hands..Exactly what they want.. Keep a cool head, work smart, and we WILL prevail..Have a great day…

    • Blake Cunningham says:

      And your unions are why guys like me are here, to charge what myself and my clients decide is fair, not what some crooked union bosses decide the rate should be, and we’re not going anywhere either comrade!

    • Kevin Gibson says:

      Unions are the cause of everything that is wrong in this province. I hire automotive service technicians, which are among the most highly educated of tradespeople as their education never ends, and my employees make as much or more than union counterparts. Good workers receive good treatement and good wages. Unions allow poor workers and lazy workers to continue to milk the system without fear of consequenses.

  7. Mike Vaillancourt says:

    Ok. I am a federal employee. I work for an hourly wage.I am a licensed plumber red seal. Which means that I could work anywhere from sea to shining sea to shining sea. But I have to pay a yearly tax of 120.00 because my interprovincial license was issued in the tax capital province of Canada Ontario. How did this law and kangaroo system of governance get passed in the first place ? I wonder what a province wide work stoppage by all licensed trades persons would accomplish. I did .not mention unions because it has no bearing on the root problem!

    • Edward says:

      I am licensed red sealed plumber also….. At first I was irate about the fee… But no so much now. Once you realize, how many in the workforce out there call themselves plumbers and have no paperwork or schooling to go with that job title…. Your license and job description becomes even more of demand. Trust me…. That piece of paper is a trophy to many. With that trophy means more $$$$

  8. S L says:

    Is there any organized body that is fighting Ontario College of Trades and their attempts to control all of the trades? If there is a volunteer body already fighting these guys I would love to know. I’m guessing bit by bit Ontario College of Trades will try to make membership mandatory for every trade, and as was seen by the hairstylists, this would hurt small businesses. It does seem like another power grab and the unions are at the top. I understand a need for professional associations. I myself am a member of one for financial services. However, it truly represents the consumer and professionals. The board is voted in by its members, and its members do have a voice. This seems like a bully system and another layer of tax and unnecessary regulation.

    • Robert Koci says:

      There are pockets of dissent, and I include this site as one of them, but we have not yet figured out how to get a united voice in opposition to the College. There is a website called Stop The Trades Tax that has generated some awareness, but it think we’ll have to wait for the provincial election to get something going.

      • S L says:

        Thank for the response Robert. The Stop the Trades website is great. It seems that there are a lot of organizations in the construction industry already fighting this. I hope the voice grows. Grassroots political action can have big results. I agree that the election can have a deciding effect on how far this goes. My husband runs a small construction construction company with heavy equipment and I’m worried about what I have already heard about these OCOT “Enforcers.”

  9. Al says:

    It is wrong to assume that all licensed people are qualified and all not licensed people are not qualified.
    OCOT had expired my license, and views me as unqualified. By not joining OCOT, my knowledge
    and experience didn’t vanish. I will renew my license once OCOT is abolished.
    Our main goal should be competitiveness.
    The union controlled OCOT tries to eliminate competitiveness, to benefit the not so qualified licensed members. Competent workers don’t need protectionism.
    Industry needs multitasking, multi skilled workers. OCOT see it as a threat to their “one worker, one task” ideology. We have to stop OCOT before OCOT stops our economy.
    OCOT had “expired” licenses of thousands of trades. Recent reports show Ontario productivity as stalling.

    • David says:

      I just learned my 309A expired last year by the OCOT. However my license from MTCU expires in June of this year. No explanation given. They said the one I have is void and that I could be fined 5000.00 if caught working without one! B.S. ! I will renew in June….

  10. Bryan says:

    You all realize that the fees paid to the OCOT go against your income when you file your income taxes right? Professional Fees. Same as a doctor or lawyer pays. When your accountant asks you if you have paid fees to any professional organizations you can say yes. Certified trades have always been able to do this, even when it was $20/year to the MTCU. Learn the tax laws people. It’s obviously in your best interest. The rich don’t work harder, they just have better accountants.
    A Proud Union Sheet Metal Worker.

    • Peter Thomas says:

      Bryan, You are wrong! The fees are claimed as part of your tax credits and will get you back enough for a coffee and bagle! The MTCU fees were NOT deductible because these were NOT membership fees to an organisation or union but mere licensing fees as per your driver`s license! You obviously need a better, more sarcastic accountant than yourself! Oh, and I`m sure the taxman will be having a close look at your returns…..

  11. Edward says:

    As a self employed plumber , I embrace these changes somewhat in my trade. We have plumbing companies who operate in the Toronto area who employ, as an example, painters or bartenders. Slap on a company logo and stick them in a truck to snake and repair drains. Thaw pipes and repair them, all of which takes away from licensed plumbers. Why are these companies, allowed to conduct business? If the Ontario college of trades wants to make a level playing field, all plumbing which includes snaking of drains or repair along with thawing of pipes etc. should also be enforced to be conducted by licensed or apprentice plumbers. These sales people.. Which is all they are, are stealing work from licensed individuals. Whats the point of going through 9000hrs and 5 years of an apprenticeship if a bum off the street can get into a company truck and snake and repair “plumbing systems” and make the same money a licensed plumber would make?

  12. Monica says:

    I realize that I am behind the 8 ball on this… What with family medical issues we don’t really notice the outside world. However this week My husband called me irate from work. Some one had told him he might not be legal and could therefore be losing his Job. I have been trying to figure out what the hell it’s all about suddenly we are paying fees that never existed before. Apparently beyond that there is risk to guys that have “finished” their apprenticeship but not written the licensing exam? All of this information just dropped on me and I have no idea where it came from. And I handle all the “office” work for my family . We never got a letter I called because Hubsy was all sorts of upset. When I asked where they came from and why fees all of a sudden I just got, it’s mandatory, if he doesn’t pay them he will be removed from any job site and he and all affiliates fined for illegal labor, that is not a quote just a paraphrase… You know… there was a time when getting a trade was an honorable thing to do, when it was the kind of work that would take care of your family for a life time, make other people envious of your freedom, A career to be proud of… Now it’s just another place to be abused, It makes me very sad. If there is a petition to be signed please direct me.

  13. Kevin Gibson says:

    I own and operate an auto service shop and we are being forced to have all of our employees licensed or certified. Like the construction and electrical trades we have what we call ‘general service technicians’ to do simple tasks such as oil changes etc. With the College of Trades new requirements we will have no choice but to increase our labour rates or absorb the additional cost of having a licensed technician do your oil change. Not to mention, a simple oil change is something a licensed technician does not like to do as it is mind numbing.
    We currently have a massive shortage of licensed technicians and it’s going to get worse. If the College enforces its rules it will put many shops out of business and drive the cost of auto service and repair through the roof and we are the ones that will have to bear the brunt of the upset customers.
    That will only encourage Back yard do-it-yourselfers to try their hand at doing their own brakes and steering components.
    That is what I find ironic, I can’t have a local young lad in my shop to change oil or tires due to “government regulations’ and yet any Joe Blow off the street can go to your local Canadian Tire or Auto Parts Store, purchase whatever parts they need and install them on their vehicles in their driveway with little or no training or skill and go hurtling down the 401 at 120 km/h

    • Edward says:

      Is it not part of a auto mechanics job description to do oil changes? I now go to a mechanic shop that only has licensed mechanics working? Their prices are no different from a dealership and actually a tad lower… And this is a shop located in GTA! And very busy I may add… All this mambo jumbo that companies are forced to employ kids to “tire bust and lube” is a joke. “General service techs” is a farce created by companies to increase profits, and was illegal to begin with….it was just not enforced. Now that we have a stricter governing body… Everyone is singing the blues. I run my own plumbing company…I’m licensed, and yes I even snake drains.. And yes, I will charge top dollar to snake a drain because I have schooling and a license to go with it… You are all crying because you require a license to go with your craft is a joke… My previous mechanic, had a lube and tire buster kid… He had no certification or license what so ever… He forgot or lack of tighten 4 of 5 bolts on my rear passenger tire… Luckily I didn’t die on the 407 that day…

      • Kevin Gibson says:

        And yet you can go buy any of these parts and do it yourself with no formal knowledge or training. I can’t do that if I want a new gas line or pressure system, they won’t sell it to me, why is that do you think?? If I screw up a set of taps, my house gets wet, if you screw up a set of brakes, you die and probably take someone with you. that’s my point. I would check with your garage as well, been in the business 25 years, never seen a shop with all licensed guys. You might be surprised what you find.

    • Gary Taylor says:

      I have been doing my own vehicle maintenance for years and never had a problem. Why is it that a country that once prided itself on individual initiative and self-reliance has slowly transformed itself in to a wuss,y nanny state that increasingly relies on so-called experts to do virtually anything, while bankrupting itself trying to pay for all this alleged expertise? For God’s sake, this stuff is not rocket science; if you have even a decent reading comprehension level and average intelligence you can do many things that some would have you believe requires an “expert”. Vehicle maintenance requires knowledge, obviously, and few people are more concerned about the safety of a vehicle than those who will be behind the wheel. I have had numerous occasions when the alleged expert mechanics with whom I dealt (at a dealership, no less) were hopeless and completely failed to do the job properly, or at all! For all the people who love government mandates and bureaucracy, book yourselves a flight to Cuba, China, etc. You will be ecstatic with life in one of those hell holes.

      • Edward says:

        Incase you did not know, homeowners can do anything they want. Even their own electrical wiring,,, you are even free to fix your own car… Nothing has changed in that respect. I respect all the mechanically inclined people.. But there is many who are not, and that is what us skilled trades are for. My chevy express wont leave my driveway without making $150. Here is a question I ask many customers, when they say us plumbers are expensive.——– How much would someone have to pay you to stick you hand in a toilet, that someone crapped in or cut a water logged sewage pipe full of human feces, that may very well spray you? Very many will say you cant pay them enough to even attempt it….. Well I am here to tell you I will do it for. (Example). $400. Good deal isn’t it?

    • Edward says:

      My mechanic shop has 5 hoists…plus room to spare.. 4 employees…and all employees have their certificates posted on wall. They have been in business since 95. I also know the owner. To say business can not survive when mechanics must do an oil change is a laugh. Save your nonsense…

      • Kevin Gibson says:

        I’m not sure what color the sky is in your world, but if this is truly the case, your ‘guy’ is not the ‘norm I can assure. Now obviously I am not against certified techs, I employ more than most. But when forced by the market to price at a prescribed amount for service, we cannot have a certified technician do an oil change. We lose money on the service as it is. We do not enjoy the tax benefits of other trades, We cannot write any amount of our tools off and every one of my guys has a minimum of $30000.00 of his own tools. I own well over $300000.00 worth of tools and equipment, again no tax benefits. Auto tech are constantly required to upgrade their skills to keep up, again no tax benefits for those expenses. So before you start bashing something you no nothing about, get your facts straight. The last time I checked a toilet still works on the same basic priciples as 50 years ago. I value my licensed techs and pay them accordingly but if I have one of them do a simple oil change for $34.99, the cost exceeds the price by several dollars. hard to make money that way.
        I may be wrong but I’m pretty sure you guys and electricians can ‘write off’ all your tools and vehicles. We don’t share that luxury and adding more rules and regulations will put Quality service out of the price range of the average person and into the hands of back yard mechanics who have no training. It’s all relative my friend, I wish I could make the margin you guys make.

      • Edward says:

        My mechanic shop has been working that way from day 1′ and has never changed…very busy shop usually all appointment, walk ins are tough…. Takes em half hr to do an oil change on my chevy express.. Anyone who has touched my truck is licensed and been in the trade for a long while. I carry lots of tools… I even spent 12k for a drain camera..etc. My truck has 20k + in tools in it plus my 40k truck which is also a tool…I dont exactly fly or take buss to peoples homes or jobsites. Part of my apprenticeship i was given a $500 allowance on tools…. All my other tools were deducted like everyone else does. If you call yourself a “plumbing” company. Or you call yourself an “electrician” ‘or you call your shop A+ “mechanic”. You expect that when someone shows up at your door or works on your car regardless of how “miserable” the job is, it is done by a licensed individual… Now as for people doing things themselves. Everyone is free to do things themselves..many people are not stupid and have been repairing their own cars themselves or repairing their own plumbing etc. Those people will always be around, and you or me will never see a dime from those people….. It is the fact of life of the mechanically inclined.

      • Kevin Gibson says:

        We can agree on that, however our tools are not tax deductible at all. It is an unfair quirk in the tax law. We get the same $500.00 grant which will buy a good socket set but no deductions at all. And for the diy gentleman, you wouldn’t want drive on the road with some of the things I’ve seen. It’s not only your life you are taking in your hands it’s the innocents you take with you. It’s the same with all the trades we charge what we charge because we are trained educated professionals and if we make a mistake we are liable. My point is they are forcing us to have everyone in a shop. You don’t need a licensed guy to change your oil. But you can bet your butt he will be doing your brakes.

      • Edward says:

        Kevin, also to comment about your review of dangers….. For your info you can go to home depot and get copper to run gas line in your home, they have all the fitting and pipe seal. They even sell the hose to connect a gas stove etc. Just like your “someone who screws up the brakes doing it themselves and kills somebody”. Will also happen in a plumbing system…. An improperly connected hot water tank…gas or electric can also be a bomb! An improper connected drain system not to code, can poison its occupants with sewage gas… Which is methane. All trades come with dangers, not just a brake system that was improperly bled.

      • Kevin Gibson says:

        We’re arguing the same point from different angles. What they are outlawing is the ‘helper’. If you need a hand and brought brought in another licensed guy you’d want an additional $150.00. In the auto industry we do not have that luxury. If we charge out 60-70% of our time, that’s a good day. The reality is we are lucky to bill 40-50% of our time. When I have a plumbing issue I call a plummer, he spends 2 or 3 hours and bills me for those hours. If a technician spends 2 hours on a job that someone says should be an hour, I can only charge an hour by law, no matter what unforseen circumstances ances have arisen, however I still have to pay my technician 2 hours. We need those inexpensive guys to balance that out.

      • Edward says:

        I understand what you are saying…. I know all jobs have a mandated time set by book. I am fully aware, as my little brother is or may as well say was a mechanic as he now has a desk job in the same field. Again, what you lose on one job… You may make up on another…. As there are jobs that take less time than what book calls for etc…

        Now as for “helper”. This is the problem with it….. It wont help any trades…plain and simple. Lets say acme mechanics, has 4 licensed guys…. And these licensed guys do not wanna do oil changes…. Owner says, gotta hire a “labourer”. The problem is with that… That labourer will never be registered as an apprentice… That shop may never hire one as a result… Why pay an apprentice whose pay has to go up after a certain amount of hours, right?

        Example 2. Shortage of skilled plumbers…. Yet acme plumbing has 4 licensed plumbers. And 2 labour’s to snake drains…because the licensed guys dont wanna do it…. Why not hire apprentice? Because an apprentice is more expensive… Like doing oil changes…. It gets expensive and will defeat the purpose of making money on these penny jobs….In the end, no companies or lack of… Get fresh apprentices to start trade. Now the problem on our end, companies are sending these individuals in peoples homes with no plumbing skills what so ever… Yet charge licensed plumber wage! And are not only “snaking” drains! Some are doing repipes, pipe repairs etc. In the end, these companies are taking advantage, lining there pockets… Hiring no apprentices and providing inferior service. Now to answer your dilemma…. What you do for one trade, have to do it for the rest…

      • Bob2 says:

        Edward – HD no longer sells copper/fittings for gas lines, they stopped this due to the hazard of home owners trying to run their own lines.

    • Bob2 says:

      Imagine what it will do to the local quick oil change shops like Mr Lube

      • Edward says:

        I would love to see what happens to these lube centres… I don’t use them… The idea of a salesperson telling me I have to do an engine flush at 20k scares me…. No thanks… What irks me, is mechanic shops are open to higher a non apprentice helper… Yet will be the first to complain about “lube centres”. Catch 22 I guess….

    • Carl says:

      Whoa you are definitely out in left field on that one. Yes you can still hire the young lad to do all of the fluid changes all except a/c. They still can change belts and hoses and even a rad but cannot repair one. And strangely enough they can even change exhaust and front end componets that do not require alignment afterwards. And yes tires too. All without a licence… People like you have caused the shortage by not registering apprentices but then again you would have to pay them more. Thinking that anyone can operate off of your licence and that you only have to be in the building does not improve our trade. There is nothing better than taking a young mind and shaping it into something better. Don’t get me wrong at thinking I’m Pro OCOT I’m for enforcement and that is one thing OCOT have provided. The restrictions in our trade have been in place for over 30 years the OCOT has only rubber stamped it and increased the price that is all

      • Edward says:

        Carl, read all my posts… I agree with you. I was just questioning what will happen to all the lube centres with new rules.

  14. Questo says:

    Eduard, a lot of things you had mention makes cense, we all know that, what happen to your car happen to me too, and was done by a certified mechanic. But you apparently appear to exited, for this messy thing called OCOT.

    The MOL could and can do the same thing. I have been asked by the MOL a few times to show them my wallet certification of prove. They were always nice and not arrogant, and demanding.

    You mention you had 9000h apprenticeship program, right, I had 14.000h without failing, its complicated for you to understand. Also I am certified in my compulsory trade, for the pass 35 years. This matter of the OCOT was looked from all different angles, it serves no one, its about them and their high wages and board jumpers for the money.

    So do your research in all aspects pros and cons, then you may have different opinion.

    Good luck in you business Eduard,

    • Edward says:

      Questo, I have done plenty of research…. I have worked with a few companies in the plumbing field and also service plumbing. Done my 5 years apprenticeship with 9000hr’s and passed my exam c of q with a 90 percentile. What many don’t understand, is why I and all who have gone through to get the license are being undercut by people who have no training or license. Now yes ministry of labour can be enabled to do that… But at same time, it would have been same result… Increased licensing fee’s as more employee’s and a separate department would have to be made to handle it all. What good is MOL if they have to see you to ask for proof of qualification? Right now as it stands if my customer wants, they can take my name and check themselves what my qualifications are just by doing a check on there OCOT website. Which is AWESOME! If a homeowner or business feels they are being duped by someone who claims to be a skilled tradesman, and the site says otherwise…MOL would be useless in that case and they are mainly for health and safety. If 120 bucks a year is what it takes to rid of idiots ruining the trades… So be it. I’ve seen first hand what companies are doing, and how they circumvent the system for the end providing sub par service… I have no issues, for paying my yearly licensing fee’s… Provided they are cleaning up the mess there is out there. I got into the trade because I know it makes money, and lots of it if your good! But at same time, these jack in the box tradesmen showing up to peoples doors in honda civics and stealing money from us skilled people needs to stop. Now the bonuses OCOT’s offering, like cheaper insurance and other bonuses in future? We see if they really are bonuses.

      In the end, I have not seen anything of concern to me. If you all are concerned of the greedy folk at the top making the big dollars? All I can say is, you should have studied harder and got a desk job… Because you can have a job like that too if you tried harder. 200k doctors are 200k doctors for a reason…..lots of school and brains…

      All the Best Questo

      • Blake Cunningham says:

        I guess you have never stopped to consider that while you and your partner in crime, Wonderful Wynne, are “cleaning up the trades” that you could be putting heretofore self-sustained, self-employed guys out of a job and on to social assistance of one kind or another. No, why think about something like that? Hey, if that happens, I’m sure the Wynne all-seeing, all-encompassing nanny state will just raise existing taxes,create new taxes and user fees to cover the additional pogey. Only a moron like Wynne and the other idiots who support her would hand out offence notices because someone is working hard for a living. At this point you can’t even parody this crap.

      • Edward says:

        Blake, the funny thing is im not a liberal supporter… I am also self employed…. My license I achieved with ease… I scored in the 90 percentile…. my work to this date has never failed and inspection. Do you know how many people claim to work hard for a living as a plumber or Any GC? Have no licenses…That does work a child could do? I’ve seen enough of it to say there is to many! And people are constantly being ripped off by said individuals….

      • Bob2 says:

        I would love to see OCOT fine the hell out of the Kijiji and craigslist HVAC hacks who go around with no license or just a gas license with no experience putting in furnaces and A/C’s for $1400 a pop, how does anyone make money doing that? I laughed my way out of a couple of houses because some home owner told me to be competitive with these hacks. I have a Gas fitter and Refrigeration license, over a decade of experience, take pride in my work but hell will freeze over twice before I start competing with the kijiji crowd.

        Unfortunately OCOT will be able to do nothing because they would need an entire army of officers to do it and we cant afford it, hence why I’m against the organization.

  15. Questo says:

    Yes, you make a grate point, but at the end of the day the costumers will go for the cheaper ones, family members and friends to do the work. Everybody looks to save money these days, and that is what causing some under cutting prices.

    Homes owners will learn how to do all source of jobs for them selves, and this can became an unsafe matter too. The ESA allow home owners to do their electrical wiring on their homes. Now you may get the catch in here, right.

    However, its not a certification which make anyone more smart then another, or those don’t have it and couldn’t done it. It a good choice to have it to help for the dough.

    It is the way you love, respect your career and your costumers. Also if they don’t know you, or have good reputation of your work, isn’t the OCOT data display, will fix that for you.

    I know you concerns about been certified and been pushed around, yep.
    The OCOT mantra is to protect the costumers, is our cost, isn’t something we either need and wanted. Look for example the ECRA, they start with low fees, and look it now, is what they decide, Its a leased license, after certification.

    I have been trough a lot of bullshit, like so many others, the story is the same. only change the title.

    Do you best, make your costumers happy, is a hard task, but they are the ones after all to judge your work and paying for. You always will encounter here and there some, which even if you work for free, they still make complains, trust me on that, experience helps and is the key of learning.

    So you and all of us certified, are deemed professionals, its absurd to have another imposing licences. Apprenticeship of a compulsory trade is to make one knowledgeable, that’s why takes, 4, 5, and more years. The MTCU could have increase their stamps and avoid all this mess. And educate the public differently.
    Will at the end may had favor all compulsory trades people much better, and serve the public democratically.

    Best regards

    • Blake Cunningham says:

      You are dead right! There is always a way around this garbage and money talks. When you explain that we have a tyrannical government which is supported by an unholy alliance of unions and nanny state devotees, many customers are happy to look the other way if it means getting a price they can afford. Moreover, a lot of this work is optional for homeowners and if the cost is too high they simply choose not to have it done, or they make what is sometimes a pitiful attempt to do it themselves, other times the attempt is actually pretty damned good. In other words, the union-loving, “I’ve got my papers so I should be able to charge an arm and a leg” shysters think they are losing out on money (“stealing” is how one delusional soul put it) when work is done by an independent operator, when the fact is many of those jobs would never have been done at the ridiculous prices some of these crooks try to charge.

      • Edward says:

        I am NOT unionized and never will be…. If us SELF EMPLOYED like myself can get licensed… So can you…. Do you even know how much work I have to correct, because of some “GC” who knows jack all? Do you know how many restoration work I do for insurance… All damage caused by some guy with a business card and no license has done? Yes they are stealing…… There is code books for a reason… And a simple license to show you acknowledge them is not very hard…. How am I a shyster? Because Ive worked for a few big NON UNIONIZED companies in toronto…like mr rooter and the like…. And I still dont charge as much as them…… A license means everything… And you sir cannot grasp the concept because pencil pushing and studying is to hard right? Enough of your “i dont need to be licensed rhetoric” if you cannot even pass a test… It only means one thing… You do not understand codes…plain and simple

      • Edward says:

        “I got papers so I can charge an arm and a leg”. I am self employed and charge accordingly… I am licensed and happy to be… Us plumbers are not cheap, my insurances and vehicle are not cheap… Many independent’s like yourself who seem to be unlicensed are just that… Majority have no insurance as an insurance company wants a copy of your license in order to be insured. (Plumbers and electricians) I am very busy with my work, and have steady work with contractors and homeowners in the GTA. And I will be happy to tell you…. My minimum charge to pull a pair of pliers out of my back pocket is $150… To say your business model helps out people…without being licensed is inferior service….

      • Blake Cunningham says:

        I suggest you consult a dictionary for a better understanding of the term “steal”. As far as codes are concerned, the codes that address issues of safety are one thing, but many codes have strayed far beyond their original intent and now seek to address issues of a far less critical nature, in the realm of quality rather than peril to individuals. As such, this represents an unwarranted intrusion upon the free market and the liberty of citizens to conduct their business as they deem appropriate. There is no compelling reason why an unlicensed individual cannot perform work to a standard which would be commensurate with that which is specified by the appropriate code(s). If an inspection finds the work to be satisfactory, why should the lack of formal credentials on the part of the workman automatically render that individual ineligible to perform the work? If the homeowner performs that same work satisfactorily, an inspector would issue a pass, so why not do the same when the homeowner hires someone to do the work? The quality of the work is the relevant issue, not the quality of someone’s government-issued papers.As far as pencil-pushing being too difficult, I can assure you I have pushed more than my fair share of pencils, pens, scientific calculators and various and sundry other items in my time. I have an undergraduate and graduate degree, so I have absolutely no fear of tests (except possibly saliva). I object to this on principle more than I do out of self-interest. Government is far too prevalent already and this only makes a bad situation worse. I will never acquiesce to this kind of garbage, and I urge anyone with pride and a belief in personal responsibility and self-reliance to refuse to do so as well.

  16. Oleber says:

    Now the new way of politics, will this happen at the queens sparks,,,,,,?
    Apparently became more exciting this way of solving questions periods, LOL.
    Now we can watch politics and boxing all at the same time.

  17. Questo says:

    Hey Eduard, Your censes seems to fresh up a little about the apprenticeships, and other issues related to Ontario economy.

    I told you before this OCOT was only there to collect the money, the damage they may cause to the Ontario economy could be enormous.

    This ”Oligarchy collection on trades” must go and the sooner the better.
    There is place for certified people and there is also for none certified ones in the trades. Costumers are the ones to control the market. If they don’t buy, or spend on renovated, repairs and so on, economy slows down and affect everyone, matters not, either certf on not.

    This happens on the begin of the nighties, after Bob Ray government, really bad times then. Hope will not happen again.

    • Blake Cunningham says:

      Foe someone to boast that they are PROUD to say they won’t pull a pair of pliers out of their pants for less than $150.00 tells you all you need to know about why so many people look for an alternative. I am not surprised by this arrogant attitude, as I often tell people that these days in Toronto you will be asked for at least $100.00 for someone to show up at your house and tell you they can’t help you. Apparently, pulling a pair of pliers from your pants adds $50.00 to that bill. Many consumers would tell you to leave the pliers where they are and, in fact, stay where you are because those kinds of prices are beyond their means. The fastest growing cohort in our population is seniors, and many of them are on relatively meager incomes. Therefore, they cannot afford exorbitant bills for basic home maintenance/repair and/or small renovations. I have done work for many seniors who needed alterations made for issues of accessibility and safety; things like grab bars in the tub and shower area, wheelchair ramps, etc. and my bids have always been significantly lower than the other quotes they received. I am not a wealthy person and I am not trying to become wealthy off the backs of those who can least afford to pay stratospheric prices. If some guys don’t mind sticking it to octogenarians then that’s their business; I don’t have to do it and I won’t. The current government is so power mad they would make a deal with the devil himself if they thought it would keep them in office, and they will curry favour with anyone else who may be able to deliver some votes. The sense of entitlement that permeates our culture is reflected in some of the attitudes on display in these postings, and it is a disgraceful commentary on our society.

      • Edward says:

        Mr, Cunningham….. since your so good with your pencil…. lets do some math shall we? Since you appear to be so happy to conduct charity work.. Im a plumber not a charitable donation.

        My insurance on my 2 work vehicles work out to (1 van, 1 pickup for drain flushing), $4800 per year
        My $5 million Liability insurance works out to $1800 per year
        my fuel costs per year total averaged last 4 years….. $6100 per year
        my average cost per year of materials, $27,000 per year
        Truck repair particularly for 1… its a 04 chev with 200k $1500 per year
        And lets not forget my 2 vehicles are paid for, $35k each.. all business vehicles… never used for personal use…and my trucks average 9 years before I trade em in and buy another as reliability goes out the window with high km..

        I wont even add my other expenses… since I just wanna work with these numbers…Like wsib, phone, office…accountant. etc… a legitimate businessman like yourself would know…

        when you use that pencil of yours, you will see that with just THESE NUMBERS… when divided by 365 days of year… which I will tell you No one works every day of the year, so that means you carry over your daily expense … IT WORKS OUT TO $112.88 per day out of my pocket which again I did not add everything… so If I stay home… Im out $111… thats what my average debt my business is per day..

        Everyone is working to make money, and for your info… all senior citizens get 15% knocked off the bill.
        I carry $5 million Liability, which is required in the GTA… I do service and new construction… some property management will not allow any trades to work without WSIB clearance and a minimum $5million liability….. and I AM SELF EMPLOYED! If you are content in making $20 profit on all your jobs… go for it pal……. your business model stinks… and I can understand why you possess no License for whatever trade you conduct. Stop calling us guys scams or overzealous because we run a legitimate business.. I live comfortably and by no means wealthy… I have bills to pay like everyone else. including taxes….

      • Kevin Gibson says:

        I’m with Edward on this one, My insurance, commercial vehicle and standard garage policy are in excess of $8000.00 annually. My taxes and rent amount to $130000.00 annually so you’re damn right AI charge. That’s just 2 of a very long list of expenses, the worst possible thing you can do is under charge because that devalues the perceived value from our customers. Everyone has been in a situation where someone has told them “I can get it done cheaper by this guy” Usually “this guy” hasn’t figured out he’s cutting his own throat.

  18. Questo says:

    Blake, your comments are on the target, the hypocrite issues our government is on. The scandals so far of misleading the public founds, the undemocratic creation of some side agencies on the crying wolfs of lobbyists greedy f,,,,.

    They should be out under the incompetence rule, and so many others. If anyone does this kind of behaviour in any private company at least once, he/she out the door for good.

    The same should be to these cronies.

    Have they made a deal with the devil? Apparently some of these government figures turned themselves into devils, lost their human conscious unable to differ from right to wrong. Only they think is votes to secure them in a future, good retirement plans, and their bodies.

    The Ontario government apparently wants to turn this province into a pit of control slaves, a nanny state.

    As per charge above mention, I remember couple years ago, when someone tried to competed with my business, fresh from the school, fancy new tolls, and the excuse of knowing all.

    Start to charge service calls to some of my costumers way higher. Didn’t last longer, a few calls and went to work for some company.

    As you mention we must understand the situation in the seniors level and others too. And that is what a lot of people aren’t grasping.

    I had discount for seniors, so too for costumers in low income, didn’t charge any service call, the amazing part was: the recommendation from per to per, about my work, Always busy.

    I didn’t get rich, but made a good leaving. In this method of reputation, I got projects I couldn’t ever imagined, I made friendships with people which never dream off. Yeah if one is good with his/her work in a reasonable price, costumers will prefer that, in special if is recommended. No matter what kind of trades.

    Here is an example: My Mother’s home, the furnace stop working later October 2013, and wasn’t that old only couple years, my sister called varies companies to go there to check that. Up front was the price tag form $160 to 200 just for service call.

    I was far from that place, but took the road and went there.
    The only problem was, a wire loosed at the TH living room area, the one controls the heat start program, nothing more was broken. Then minutes job, it was done science house construction, basically new home. Now we all can see the irony here, Yeah we all need a serious clean up, but in the moral department.

    • Edward says:


      I understand about, overcharged… But in the end it is all relative. A company with more overhead is just that…and will always have a bigger minimum charge. I got into the trade because it makes money…. If there is a pipe full of feces im the first one to cut it and repair it. I used to think that they are crooks… Really they not. Im self employed, and when I do my math…and what actually end up in my bank account… It is measly to begin with. But when folks come here, with hands in the air… With no credentials under their name… Yet point fingers at us licensed guys who they say are “overcharging”. Well To that I would like to see their business financial statement… More than likely many cut corner…like liability insurance, which will not cover unlicensed in certain trades etc. There is many instance I will not charge for a service, but it is quite hard when I have a truck full of tools and material.. A mobile warehouse really or atleast try… And I burn my tank of fuel in my truck that takes $150 to fill!!! No matter what you say, morals or not… We all have to make money and charge what we are worth.

  19. Questo says:

    Eduard, nothing wrong charging what is a morally right, to cover all costs.
    And this depending on each job assignment, but when way beyond charged costumers became alert, phones lines began to ring, and will destroy the ones over charged, and also prejudice those will keep prices competitive.

    Also there are jobs you may do, can became a health risk for you and those work with you, then you may have the reason to charged even more. That’s morally right, but simple things and charge an harm and a leg, its no good.

    Its hard some times to keep the balance, but what I meet to say morally wrong is in a cense of abuse. That also happen in the certified trades as us, and none cert.
    Don’t think the OCOT will fix that for us certified trades, they will created more underground economies. Will create more hard time for all of us cert trades.
    I leaved this kind of wave before, so keep your costumers happy then you be happy also.

    Best regards for you and your business.


    • Edward says:

      Well I would agree with you…. But, these big companies who charge lots of money are the top reviewed companies in the GTA. Just go to a homeowner review site like homestars! People still pay tooth and nail for service. To say $130 a year will drive an underground economy is non-existent…. What will drive an underground economy is mandatory WSIB to all us self employed’s who do not only service homeowners. (You are exempt if your business is 100% with a homeowner). $1000+ average I pay every 3 mths, all of which cuts from my profits! And then guys like MR.Cunningham has balls to say, how can I charge $150 to pull out pliers……… I would much prefer Mr Hudak makes a promise to remove WSIB which is much more of a cash grab than. $130

      • Blake Cunningham says:

        I do indeed have the “balls” to say that your comment was ill-advised in as much as it exemplifies an attitude of arrogance and even contempt for your potential clients, for many of whom those kinds of rates are prohibitive. For the record, I entirely agree with you about mandatory WSIB, yet you seem to welcome government mandates when they serve your parochial interests. I guess consistency isjust too much to ask for.

    • Edward says:

      Mr, Cunningham. ….. Like I answered you previously which you blatantly never responded to….. A legitimate run company like mine incurs many costs just to run it…. Your charitable donation company you run… Does not work in my world… Nor many others who sweat their balls off day in day out…, My company which I run and own by myself… Incurs costs yearly towards 50k. So yes, you want me to show up to your door and figure out what your plumbing problem is? $150 no ifs and or buts…. Leave the amateurs who show up to your door with no insurance or license and a beat up mini van for those people… I am busy every day… Repeat customers and general contractors… I don’t need and jack of all and master of none, to tell me how to run a business.

      • Blake Cunningham says:

        “Mr. Edward” I am fully aware that a business incurs costs. Your definition of a “legitimately” run business is subjective, though I am confident you would not acknowledge as much. With respect to charitable endeavours, your comments leave a great deal to be desired. I will however recognize your talent for vulgar language and crude metaphors-well done. For the record, I do not want you showing up at my door for plumbing problems nor problems of any nature. Not surprisingly Edward, you contradict yourself by stating that you are content to let the “amateurs” show up at my door, when your previous postings have clearly indicated you support efforts to eradicate such companies and/or individuals form the marketplace, thus ensuring they could not show up at any door, save and except that of the welfare office. In as much as your reference to “jack of all and master of none” is targeted at me, I would respond by stating that I am kept quite busy myself, often with customers obtained through referrals from satisfied customers. In fact, I recently completed a bathroom renovation during which I had occasion to work with plumbing and somehow I managed to do so successfully. Nonetheless Edward, I am so grateful for your thoughtful comments and remember, don’t sniff the methane.

  20. Edward says:

    mr Cunningham… In many cases you get what you pay for. “You managed to somehow” thats an amazing word of confidence for your customer… My customers or potential are warned before hand what my diagnostic fees are and what a minimum repair cost is. I will not show up to your door without telling you or any other customer without doing so. My gas and my skill costs money… End of story. Im not a budget jack of all master of none, who is willing to make bare minimum. I am busy, and have plumbed many homes and currently roughing multi-million dollar residences. I am ultra confident with my work, and I never leave a home or business without solving someones plumbing issues.

    • Blake Cunningham says:

      Mr Edward: Evidently sarcasm is lost on you, so I shall be more prosaic when making a point. “Somehow managed to do so successfully” was an example of such sarcasm, as I was not at all surprised I was successful, I have done many similar jobs for years. I have worked for, with and beside licensed plumbers, electricians and carpenters and watched and learned. The point you seem to willfully ignore is that there are competent and incompetent people plying their trades and they may be licensed or unlicensed. I have seen electricians report other licensed members of the trade because they have done DANGEROUS work-errors so glaring that a first day apprentice should know better. By the way, I do not make anywhere near bare minimum and I am doing just fine. You seem to ignore my overriding point that I do not care what you charge as that is between you and your customers; I DO care if you, some government bureaucrat or anyone else tries to interfere in my ability to make a living. The threat of fines does not intimidate me and myself and many other freedom loving men will continue to do what we do while striking a blow against totalitarian government. If you choose to support tyranny because it benefits you to do so, that is a choice with which you have to live.

      • Edward says:

        Watch and learned simply is not only what my trade entails. Sorry but it is not. If you get fined or not is of your own doing. You seem to think you can just “wing” things without any repercussions. I guess licensed doctors or nurses should go the same route? What do you do when you wing your work in a condo unit or apartment? Majority of property management ask for wsib and your trade license! Now you make the point “I do not care” but you do… You pointed out numerous times that what I charge is to much apparently… By your standards…”eye roll”. I have done enough work, to correct work done by Jack of alls… And can say without a doubt, many know nothing. Many of calls, are of many homeowners with improperly plumbed drainage and fixtures, soldered potable water lines with 50/50 solder poisoning its occupants slowly, what is overwhelming is the frequency that I see it. Now yes there are a few plumbers who are hacks…and I say few for good reason.. In my 25 years of plumbing, majority of hacks are of the unlicensed, master of none kind… Sad but true fact SIR…as the homeowners always spill the beans who the culprit was.. It is very rare I have to correct work of a licensed plumber. Now you may be good at general repair and maintenance of a reno, but 1 of the thousands that are out there is what the real number is. Which is why this was done in first place. The percentage just doesn’t go in your favour sadly 🙂

        One example I use all the time, is go to a new subdivision… Line up 10 homes or inspect 10 before being boarded up… 10 different plumbers constructed it… Yet they all plumbed same and to code. All pressure tested. And inspected. I have worked in this environment. Consistency of licensed tradespeople is what I am showing you. Very hard to have a hack, once you have done the trade for a while its 2nd nature and likelihood of a hack is small. Now lets go route of 10 basement reno’s with washroom by 10 different jack of alls. Odds are heavily stacked that many of those are not plumbed right amongst other things, no inspections etc . Like I said, you may be good at what you do… But you sure as hell dont speak for the majority of them and there is no consistency of training and standards.

  21. Blake Cunningham says:

    Actually, watching and learning is what all trades are about if you stop and think about it, as is true for just about anything you want to learn. My point is that whether I have “papers” issued from some government bureaucrat or not does not guarantee either the degree of competency or how diligently knowledge and ability are applied. Even licensed trades are known to take shortcuts now and then and as for inspectors, I know of two guys in Toronto who will sign off on work before it is completed if you put the right bottle of booze in their truck. Using solder containing lead in a potable line is something I am sure happens, but that knowledge can be imparted to anyone planning to do the work via books, online sources, etc. That being the case, why should we be subjected to a shakedown from Wynne and her fellow crooks? I have all the codes in hard copy and electronic form and would gladly take a test on my knowledge any day. Moreover, guys like Mike Holmes and Jim Caruk began working before they had licenses and they have pretty good reputations. When Caruk and his foreman started doing renovations, they literally had books on site to look things up as they went along. Finally, I cannot let the comparison you made between tradesmen and doctors go without comment. There is no way any reasonable person would try and compare the skill and knowledge required by a medical doctor to that which is required of any trade. A doctor is a member of a profession while electricians, carpenters and plumbers are members of a trade. If we are going to require that everyone who does any kind of job must have a license then what is next? How about tailors, window cleaners, landscapers, convenience store cashiers, donut makers? Let’s make it as difficult as possible for people to make a living. Hope you will enjoy the increased taxes and fees you are going to be paying to make all this bureaucracy function.

  22. Questo says:

    Hey Blake, also some inspectors completely forget to show up on a job site, in special in some electrical renovations. When phoned and asked why they haven’t show up?,,, don’t worry, hydro will be there shortly.
    Its all a bullshit, ESA/ECRA/ OCOT and others. Its about money grabs, and apparently the trades people, in special the compulsory ones became the attractive targets. Ontario’s democratic slavery pit, coated with guises, protections all kinds, to justify the bullshit.

    Apparently soon the house of cards will collapse.

    • Edward says:


      Because of the nature of electrical and stricter laws with inspections…. Reason they fail to show up…is because of how many inspections they have to do in a day… We see it with plumbing also… But I don’t think as bad as electrical

  23. Edward says:

    Actually watching and learning is a part….. Not all of it… There is alot to learn in school which is not taught on a jobsite… Nor do you see everything. You know of two guys that take booze to pass inspections? … Very unlikely, incase you did not know… Inspectors are personally liable for anything that was passed and comes back to them…. Case in point… Collingwood, sierra lane townhomes…inspector killed himself shortly after homes he passed were condemned as they were not to code! He was held personally liable. I was there to help fix the mess..although. Majority of it was structural. All inspectors walk on eggshells, I know a few personally from tradeschool . All this nonsense of you know two inspectors do this is bull. Plumbing and electrical, hvac come with dangers that if not done properly will happen. I regard them as trades that are up there with being classified as doctors,.. Just a different way. Now you seem to point this as a liberal problem… Which is funny.. I am not a liberal by any means…and can tell you that the problem is across the board. This hudak promise of “get rid of ocot” is hot air. Why doesn’t he pitch to rid of HST which to the average end user who as an example, uses one of my services or any one elses… Gets dinged 13 dollars per every hundered instead of 5. We are paying 8 cents + per litre to many on fuel… Wsib… Mandatory for self employed. Instead, he uses college of trades which he will never dismantle as a milestone for his agenda… Instead of the more serious money grabs. Most he will do is deregulate it a bit… Maybe give an olive branch to the jack of all’s. This OCOT was delivered in 2009… Since 2010 i’ve known about the changes to come… Yet they cry foul now? No politician will remove anything… Which means get with the program or face the penalties… I have nothing to worry about. I have done my due diligence and can say… This law does not affect me or any of the tradespeople I know, including many family who are also tradespeople. Its not hard to follow the law, the only complaints are from those who refuse to follow them…

    • Blake Cunningham says:

      First, threats of fines do not worry me because they would have to correctly identify me first. In the unlikely event that some Wynne gestapo show up at a job site I will not be providing any ID…they can go pound salt and, if necessary, talk to one of the three members of my family who practice law. (which IS a profession by the way). I am impressed that you evidently serve as an advisor to Tim Hudak or, even more amazingly, possess psychic powers and know what he is thinking. Politicians are notorious for overturning existing systems, practices, etc. and doing things their way. In 1995 a subway was already beginning to be built along Eglinton Avenue, but when the provincial government changed the plan was abandoned and the hole that had been dug was filled in. (by licensed tradesmen, no doubt) You are right about one thing, I do refuse to follow this law,and so should everyone else. If enough people have the guts to resist this crap then it will not fly. As for the inspectors I mentioned, I can supply witnesses so you don’t need to take my word for it. In fact, I will do better than that, I will tell you where the job site was. This happened at a house on Heath Street in Toronto about two years ago and myself and two other guys saw it happen. It must be nice to have such a Pollyanaish view of the world, but if you took off your rose-tinted glasses once in a while you might learn something now and then.

      • Edward says:

        Well, for mr hudak who is anti union or “was” ….. Who as of late flip flopped on his right to work policy…. So you think this guy will do wonders for you? An anti union guy… Now supporting them… Trust me, he will be a flip flop on this issue too. Thats if he can get elected in first place…… They will say anything to gain votes…

        As for bribing an inspector with a bottle of scotch. Wont believe it until I see it. With the liability that goes with their job, an oath they take… I find it hard to believe..again, what exactly was he “passing”?. They are all aware what happens, collingwood fiasco which I’ve seen with own eyes in 99-00 was one of a few stories that rattled and put more weight on their shoulders. I have had pleasure of working with many, and still to this day in Toronto….I have given inspectors plumbing parts they were looking for for their own home free of charge in the past, coffees etc… Not a bribe… Just a friendly gesture. All of which were not break the bank on my part.

  24. Questo says:

    I think they love to inspect hamburgers at Mac D, Two and three of them sometimes there for hours, and also around home depot outlets.

    In Europe the meaning of certified, was the capability of inspect self work and apprentices, and sign what is called: term of responsibility, for work done.

    Yeah, happen to me a few times in here in this province, they never showed up, but were paid for it.

    Also the ESA/ECRA/ OCOT will not see any money from me, after 35 on the trade, I went into research, couple years ago, I have a few certificates, and I speak five language, I can move around if I wanted, the certificate the OCOT wants me to pay, make do difference for me at all. I can pass with out, here in this Province.

    All my certifications are assign in other countries, plus what I had before. So if you have dual passport Eduard, I recommend you to do the same. One day may help you if you decide to move out. All legal certifications are valid in some European countries and south/central America.

    Beast regards

  25. Doug Leitch,

    The only way to stop this is a class action lawsuit. Everything else has failed.

    Can we organize ppl?

    Has anyone investigated merits of a lawsuit against OCOT or ESA?

    On the bigger scale, all similar semi-parasitic, semi-criminal regulators are the national tragedy and shame!

  26. Electrical Safety Authority and Ontario College of Trades are the biggest Obstacles to Becoming an Electrician in Ontario

    The institutionalized abuse of power goes much deeper than just paying large amount of money to OCOT and ESA for their harmful services or redundant licenses.

    Paying large amount to the unnecessarily high salaries of the ESA’s and OCOT’s unnecessary executives for the right to work or be self-employed rots the souls of both the parasites and the victims.

    Unable to fight the almighty provincial bureaucracy most of self-employed electrical workers, if not all, are forced to skip inspections, work for cash, endanger the public, and become offenders to survive. It affects all Ontarians.

    Hundreds of thousands of federal bureaucrats, provincial parasites, municipal and local criminals at all levels of government badly hurt every citizen, and Canada as a whole!


  27. My 1st encounter with the OCOT was frightening. The rep came in and walked right behind the reception counter at our automotive service shop. He was trying to see a certificate on the wall. He did not explain who he was or show ID. I, being behind the counter, reacted with fear. I told him he could not come behind the counter and he responded arrogantly saying he was with the Ontario College of Trades and had the right to go anywhere he wanted, even into the back or “anywhere”. He did not have a complaint about us. What is really irritating is that an illegal shop with no licenses at all can operate without them. They only pick on the ones they can threaten unless they get their #!%÷€# taxes feom us regularly…….

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