Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

The Ontario College of Trades is not democratic or transparent

Canadian Contractor

Our reader "Questo" points out the Ontario College of Trades was not created by a vote by the province's tradespeople, whereas the teachers in the province voted to create their own College of Teachers in 1997. Questo says the OCOT is undemocratic and lacks transparency.

With the announcement that the Ontario College of Trades is looking at forcing the enrolment of carpenters (who would have to join OCOT, and who – presumably – would only be able to DO so if they were certified), Ontario contractors have jammed our mailbox with demands that the OCOT be disbanded. That’s not easy. The OCOT was created by government legislation in 2009. Unless that legislation is repealed, OCOT is here to stay. 

Questo” addressed this stuff in a post last week, replying to a “15 Year Carpenter” who supports the OCOT, in general…

“To the 15 years carpenter, looks like you love them so much (you’ve become) one of their trolls.

Remember, city by-laws are approved or disputed through councils. (The councils) got (there) by vote…. (Building) inspections are under the power of a democratic vote, and transparent manner.


The Ministry of Labour is under direct legislative power, under the elected government. Or do you forget that?

(The OCOT is) a private organization. It’s like a security services company…

The Ontario government create this mess called the Ontario College of Trades. It was not voted in like the Ontario College of Teachers, which took place in May 1997. And the by-laws of the OCOT are only changed and approved by them.

Your argument (in favour of the OCOT) on paper is right, but only for democratic and transparent powers. The OCOT (does not operate in a) democratic and transparent manner, so is illegal. Can you appoint politicians and councils?

“Compulsory trades” like us have paid for stamps (on our Certificates of Qualifications) to the Ministry of Trades, Colleges and Universities every three years. No reason to have this collection agency up on us.

Unfair and arbitrary actions have no place in this province. The one that started this whole thing, was a union president… (Yet) union members vote, right? Why wasn’t (the OCOT) founded on a vote?

What makes you thing they are legit? Because a guy on video says so?”


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7 Comments » for The Ontario College of Trades is not democratic or transparent
  1. Pam Barry says:

    Now I am not from Ontario but I do read the Canadian Contractor and have been reading about this OCOT for a few months now. It seems that for the most part everyone, except the few, hate it and complain about it non-stop but I do not see anyone doing anything about it?

    Fastest way to put any business out of business is to stop doing business with them – DON’T PAY. Contact your member of Legislature – Start a petition, do what you are legally allowed to do – But do not sit on the fence and complain about it and not be prepared to fight for it.

    Maybe I am wrong and I do not fully understand and if so I apologise. But if you have worked so hard to get where you are and get established, why are you not working as hard to maintain your status and your rights?

    Just like any other law, it can be repealed, especially if the members of legislature want to keep their seats, they are not contractors, but they were definitely hired because of them and many other blue collar workers.

  2. Questo says:

    Hi Pam, Thanks for your input and understand the tyranny we the compulsory trades people are under. We have become a target just to be certified, under the guise of costumers protection, in special in Ontario. Target a specific group of profession can be considered discriminatory, and this matter is for profit gains.
    On oligarchy life style, lavish, in our cost.

    From $20 per year from the MTCU no tax, to $120 and tax to the OCOT, one can clear see what this is for. OCOT CEO, around 180k a year, seats in many boards, the OCOT board of directors, most of them seat in the same matter as the CEO, seat on many boards at the same time, may well entering in conflict of interest. Down to inspectors wages 70k plus benefits and vacation pay four weeks.

    All this to go see if Mr, Joe at the construction site if he, have the OCOT piece of paper. They leased the most expensive building in down town Toronto, new cars vans and so on. The club of conflicts, never was voted for, and some unions are the ones apparently to input the decisions on all others even none union, That’s sick.

    We aren’t just at this journal making comments and doing nothing, there are thousands of petitions already signed and delivered, also there are a lot of MPP’s confronting this insane apparatus.

    Much so, to the point a press conference will be held on April 8 around 9 am in 2014, about the issue of 85.000 apprentices and 4.300 ready for C&Q refused to comply with this OCOT, and may became illegal workers on their trades.

    I never see a such thing in my interior life.

    Apparently the Ontario government refused to repealed this OCOT college of nothing. Maybe after April 8 this year, things will start to change for better way.


  3. Oleber says:

    Yeah, so far they have been attracting very little uninformed.

    Its not government org, nor self regulatory, when they make all decisions imposed on others, and so far even changed certified tittles with out the C&Q holders knowledge, disposing them to lower rank. That can even affect their wages.

    They are there for the money, for them selves, and protecting themselves only, not a tax, yeah,,,, its more then that is a piracy.

  4. Oleber says:

    Garfield is right, about it when he says its law, was voted for it, on 2009, but the liberals rushed this bill 183 in with out enough evidence to support this apparatus, further more wasted 4 million on tax dollars for a few interviews on this mater, and media elusion campaign.

    No enough consideration was token, regarding this matter. The Liberals were on majority, and voted for, if even voted laws became prejudicial to the public should be repelled. If provincial laws infringed on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, could became no effect, void. There are lot of cases can be view on the supreme court of justice, pointing similar matters

    There are a set of basic laws have to be respected. The OCOT is apparently discriminatory body, a price tag for certifications if not became illegal to work. Its a discreet damage to business and certified people.

    So Garfield, abolished, and back where was to the MTCU.

  5. Questo says:

    Doug Leitch

    April 25, 2014

    @bert I would like to respond to your comment about the OCOT policing you. The OCOT does not have the mandate to even do that because they have no power. The only thing the OCOT can do is to act on a complaint against a member of the College, so no compliant no investigation.
    The Act states the follow: To receive and investigate a compliant against a member of the College!

    So once again no complaint filed then there is no investigation. I also want to mention to you and everyone else that the Ontario College of Trades in not a government body but only a non profit organization which means that the OCOT officers are not Provincial Offence Officers.
    The OCOT officers have no Provincial power at all because they are not a Provincial Governemnt body.

    If the OCOT officers do not or can not produce a comply of the written compliant against you if you are a member of the OCOT, then you are in your legal rights to not have to show them anything and ask them to leave. You can then proceed to call the police to have them charged with harassment because that in my opinion is the only reason they are there. Please remember to inform the OCOT officers that you will have your lawyer to be in touch with them to review the so alleged compliant against you.

    Now please also remember it is the trades person that hold the valid Certicate of Qualification which is now a forced membership with the College and it is not your business that is the member, so the compliant is against you and not your business. The College does not have the right to be going to these dealerships which more than likely are not members and forcing their way in to see if the trades people are licensed at all becuase that is not in the act.

    The Ontario College of Trades can say what they want or can think they can do what they want but the act is the law and they must follow the act.


    Thanks Doug, to clarify what the college really is about, some people seems to be confused for what these inspectors really are, a parasitic agency.

    Better be abolished these OCOT and the ECRA too. And let small family business to boom. Under the guise of democracy the fascism was installed with smiles, and all source of public and costumers protections. The liberal vortex turned into a black hole, when founds enter into it and gone, its disgrace full.
    I believe the liberals will be out soon, if election comes.

  6. Sean Shea says:

    Interprovincial trades shouldn’t be undercontrol of the province they should have thier own governing body that is province wide . The positions should be elected with representatation of all participating provinces .

  7. Stan Fothergill says:

    Nice to see the of trades on the other end of the stick . I have not renewed any of my licenses because of excessive cost and fines.

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