Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

The Ontario College of Trades, directed by the unions, seems to be modelling itself after North Korea's dictatorship

Canadian Contractor

"The fuse is set, the Liberals have been re-elected in Ontario, and the OCOT is all set to expand its tentacles, hire more bureaucrats, increase the size of their University Avenue offices, increase their incomes, put in place great pensions, add an amazing health care plan and line their pockets with golden nuggets.

Last week, we ran a video of licensed plumber and Ontario MPP Garfield Dunlop – the PCs skilled trades critic – asking a question during Question Period at the Ontario Legislature of Reza Moridi, the pompous and apparently selectively-deaf (since he ignored most of the question) Minister of Trades and Apprenticeships. Garfield asked about Bernie Fishbein, legal counsel to electricians union for years, who was, conveniently, put on the three-person review panel at the Ontario College of Trades to cast what could well have been the deciding vote on electrician apprentices-journeymen ratios. (He voted as the union would have wanted, to further restrict apprentices. Shocked, aren’t you?) How did this conflict of interest occur, Garfield asked, and, secondly, why is Fishbein rumoured to be in for a special government paid consulting job “reviewing” the Ontario College of Trades? Again, Moridi showed no respect to the questioner by ignoring the legitimate query – and by extension raised an elegant, probably manicured middle finger to ALL those who think, as Alec Caldwell does, in this post, that the Ontario College of Trades is a dictatorship.. 

Alec is president of CARAHS, the Canadian Association or Renovators and Home Services.

What do we expect from the Ontario Liberal minister in charge of the OCOT, Reza Moridi, as he chose to ignore the question on the floor asked of him about the latest conflict of interest at OCOT (Ontario College of Trades)?

Editor Steve Payne is right when he describes “democracy” inside OCOT being of the same quality as the rule of North Korean demagogue Kim Jong Un, listening to his destitute people in North Korea.


Ontario tradespeople are forced to pay fees into OCOT and yet they have no voice or representation. OCOT direction comes from within and they are called unions.

The day the Liberals, the carpenters union and the OCOT unleash their nuclear bomb on the Ontario renovation industry and the general construction industry, by mandating that anyone doing carpentry, drywalling, etc., will start the decline of the independent, self-employed, non-union home renovation industry in Ontario.

Total extinction of this type of contractor may take time, but when the penny finally drops, homeowners will only realize then, too late, that they’ve been duped and now it takes around 7 unionized workers to renovate their bathroom and at huge cost.

The fuse is set, the Liberals have been re-elected, and the OCOT is all set to expand its tentacles of hiring more bureaucrats, increase the sizes of their University Ave office, increase their incomes, put in place great pensions, add an amazing health care plan and line their pockets with golden nuggets.
Kim Jung Un democracy is now here in Ontario under the banner called OCOT. What a charade of smoke and mirrors!



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8 Comments » for The Ontario College of Trades, directed by the unions, seems to be modelling itself after North Korea's dictatorship
  1. Mark Mitchell says:

    As a self-employed HVAC mechanic I have no reason to want more bureaucracy or regulation of my business. We are already heavily regulated by the fuels safety and pressure vessel branches of TSSA, and dealing with them is like dealing with WSIB.
    When a gov’t empowered agency is given absolute power, the power corrupts their ability to provide value for their services. The fees charged by TSSA and the lack of service for the end user are proof enough that this “company” couldn’t exist if they had any sort of competition. How will the OCOT be any different? They are trying to sell the idea that people will prefer to hire an OCOT member over a non=member, and that people will go to their website and actually check someones status. In the past, I have only been asked to show my license a few times, and only on a big commercial job. Why don’t they sell their brand (OCOT membership) to the public, and if we like what we see, we will be free to join? Instead, they will continue to ram mandatory membership down our throats like dictatorships do. I have several licences in the heating trade, and one Cof Q from the Ministry of colleges and training. My solution to the college of trades is to not pay their membership fees, and if I get thrown off a job because of it, oh well, I won’t do air conditioning anymore, just heating. I won’t hire anymore apprentices either. So how is the OCOT promoting trades, when many of us 25yr journeymen are willing to abandon their trade? The truth is, they are not encouraging or promoting the skillled trades, they are building wonderful careers for themselves, and enjoying the benefits of a (gov’t) job where you never get laid off in the winter, where paid sick days are banked, and days they don’t feel like going to work are called “family days”.

  2. Horst Summer says:

    As a customer of the trades, both as a homeowner and a small business, I see this as alarming. I won’t hire unionized companies because of the lack of workmanship and speed that inevitably befalls all union shops, as no one is accountable. Also no government certification is ultimate proof that someone will do good work. Only reference checks guarantee that. I see the OCOT as an assault on honest hard working small businesses in the construction industry. This conduct will lead to less apprentices in the system and long-term less competition. It also means higher operating costs for trades. All of these things add up to higher prices for consumers, and do nothing for protecting consumers from bad workmanship. We should all be alarmed by this as citizens of Ontario. Contact your MMP to voice your opposition…

  3. Bob Bartlett says:

    This is just the tip of the iceberg. Slowly but surely we keep losing rights and freedoms in this country and province and it doesn’t matter what party or level of Government is in power, the dictatorships keep growing and winning. It’s called lining of ones pockets.

  4. Jim Groves says:

    I don’t know why we have a Ministry of Trades as well as an Ontario College of Trades. I guess it was too much work for the Ministry. They should have just hired more employees like the WSIB does. LOL

  5. Victor says:


    Please spread the word. Post the link on your forums, discussions and social media.

    No one would be able to rape a monolith made of 100000 of proud people.

    United we stand, divided we fall!

    Are there any trades people willing to take more radical measures like going on strike or taking OCOT to court?

    the petitions, social media and talking have failed; the abuse and legalized robbery continues

    we, the abused, should take a real action to stop the OCOT from robbing us and our children

    I am looking for folks ready to really fight it

  6. Tony says:

    It seem that no one is realizing that how much of freedom are taking the unions (LEGAL MAFIA) from the trades people and Ontario citizens in a very calm sneaky way. I call the unions Legal Mafia for the reason that they do the work exactly the same as the Italian mafia did in the US for business rocketering American unions found their way to Canada and they are doing it now legally. found burocrats or so called politician that do and protect them in anyway they want too. it is ridicilious and davestating. I have long list to talk about it but it is just not worth it since they already have so much power now that basically rule the construction business and all the government agencies now.
    All I can do is to encorouge everyone Please Please Please Do Not Work or Join any Union since they are only after theyr profit and do not care for you even if you die in your job they are protected no one can put a lawsuit at them or to any other burocrats. that they represent. and construction workers are being killed almost every day in a job sites and 99% of this jobs are union jobs. Think twice before you join a union.

  7. Metallofu says:

    It’s great to see various people vent through venues such as this; however, are we taking our “case/concerns” to the electorate? I realize we just had an election which seems to be to most contractors/trades peoples demise, but, really, did we speak to those we know who are teachers, firefighters, civil “servants” and other union paying people be it family, neighbour or friend?
    We have four years to talk, encourage, educate and use the resources available to us to change the political scene and potentially the economic viability in Ontario. Having the privilege of traversing Canada from coast to coast over the years usually amazes me as to what extent the “cityscape” changes from province to province, but not so much as this last month. Traveling through Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba made me think I was in a different country altogether from Ontario. Let’s not only hope for change, let’s be the change agents we should be and direct our efforts at changing the policies, parliamentary bills, and items within the OCOT that better reflect the desires of the contractors/trades people of Ontario. We can do that by making submissions to the OCOT concerning various items (ie, compulsorization of Carpentry) and writing various boards of the OCOT; making calls to MPs and MPPs; participating with civility in protests Stand up for each other where you are located and as you are able – please.


    I have been fighting with OCOT since June of this year to get my mechanics truck and coach license back. I was off last year due to heart attack, and they want to charge me a 138.00 extra fee on top of my normal fee. I got a doc note and that solved that problem. So I paid my fee. This started in May of this year, now I have got my car mechanic license back, but my truck license says still pending. At first they would not admit to me having a truck license. They said I had to verify I even had a truck and coach license, which I have had for over twenty years. I got a hold of ministry of training verified my license. Received email back from Lin Wong saying so. That was a couple of weeks ago, I am back fighting to get my license back. I would appreciate any help in this on going saga. It kind of proves OCOT only cares about your money, they do not care about the people.

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