Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

Will YOU have to pay fees to the new Ontario College of Trades? Here's the answer.

Canadian Contractor Auto Professional

Canadian Contractor readers, and CARAHS members, attend a town hall meeting to learn how the College's fee structure will impact them

The Ontario College of Trades will start sending out fees invoices to 22 different trades in the province in April, according to Bob Guthrie, registrar and CEO of the College.

Guthrie was at the Canadian Contractor offices in Toronto Oct. 18, where he made a presentation to some 30 renovator members of CARAHS (Canadian Association of Renovators and Home Services).

Most of them wanted to know if they will have to join the college and pay fees of $120 (for journeypersons) or $60 (apprentices).

Guthrie outlined the different classes of trades that make up the 22 “compulsory” groups. In the homebuilder and renovator sector (the College will oversee many other different trades, including auto mechanic and hairstylist), it will be plumbers, electricians, sheet metal workers and heating and air conditioning mechanics that will be required to join. And pay.


The college will oversee 135 other types of trade, too, but as yet, none of those trades have been targeted for the fees. But opponents of the College, such as the Coalition of Construction Employers, predict that the College will eventually force all of those trades, which includes such “optional” trades as carpenters, bricklayers and painters, to pay fees.

Guthrie said the College, which currently has 60 employees at its office on Bay Street in downtown Toronto, has two main goals. One, Guthrie said, is to “regulate the trades in Ontario in the public’s self-interest.” This would include cracking down on the underground economy by encouraging the public to only hire registered trades (where registration is mandatory). The second, he said, is to “promote the trades to young people.”

The College will offer no courses or training. It is a regulatory College, alone, in the sense that teachers and nurses, and other professional occupations, are regulated by “colleges.”


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41 Comments » for Will YOU have to pay fees to the new Ontario College of Trades? Here's the answer.
  1. Dave says:

    you feel the fees are in line with what you are offering? how did you determine the fees? and how do you intend to do what you say you are going to do?
    It looks to me you want to have a old boys club, look at where your office is could you not find a place that cost less to rent.
    I think all trades should be included from the beginning of this college, who decided what trade to start with? how and when are you going to get other trade into this colloege especially if you do not do what you say you are going to do.

  2. george says:

    The college “will offer no courses or training”, (translation)…..THIS IS A TAX GRAB !!! Those 60 tax grabbers will sit in their Bay Street offices and collect money while giving NOTHING in return. Moreover the Ontario government knows SQUAT about promoting trades to young people, because there is lots of opportunities in Ontario schools to learn trades BUT, in “have not” cities of Ontario (Cornwall for example) there are ZERO opportunities (jobs) for completion of apprenticeship!!!!!!
    So what is happening right now is that there are a lot SKILLED and KNOWLEDGEABLE people out there in many regions of Ontario who are unlicensed simple because the Ontario governments apprenticeship program is from a bygone era and simply doesn’t work in these new economic times. The Ontario College of trades will make a bad system even worse, by forcing people who are willing to work, onto the welfare rolls. Wake up Ontario government. It’s time to re-think your trades licensing/ apprenticeship program.

  3. Dean Kadikoff says:

    As a fully licenced journeyman/tradesman with multiple certificates, I am totally disgusted with this new tax grab. They will be holding my licencing hostage to get the $100~$200 per year mandatory membership dues that appears to be what I will be paying with no tangible benefit to me. My certification through MTCU at present runs $60 for a three year renewal. So this will equates to a 500% to 1000% increase to maintain my licence. The College of Trades gives me nothing of value in return. In my opinion this college of trades is absolutely useless and unecessary. Make the membership voluntary and offer some tangible benefit worth the membership and see if it will be self sustaining.

    • Paul Dunkley says:

      I fully agree with Dean’s opinion(Oct 25 2012). Its very apparent this was a prearranged takeover, and we the licensed electricians are hostage, with a gun held to our license. The fee is outrageous, and is presumably going to pay the tab of refurnishing the Bay St mansion.
      With no interest in training, this is a pure money grab.
      Hang on for the increase to $150/yr in 2017, because the office furniture will need a fresh look.

  4. Robert Sloan says:

    I am an Electrical Contractor. We have a regulatory body (ECRA of the ESA). All Electrical Contractor’s credentials can be checked on line to at I already pay annually to renew my Masters Certificate and business license. This is a tax grab! A very highly touted tax grab by Dwight Drummond in his report. But it is more than a tax grab. Check out and inform as many people as you can…..or don’t complain when you are extorted into a Union.
    Also, check out the list of trades too. I have never heard of at least 6 of them. Do you really believe that if Hairdressers are compulsory trades that any trade or for that matter a Home Inspector won’t eventually become victims.

  5. STUART says:


    SEE YA


    • al says:

      ya i was thinking the same thing — that letter of how they want to protect us wow thats new name for a csh cow

  6. Dan Little says:

    Auto Mechanics already are regulated you jack asses we already pay a fee for this and our license has to be hung on the wall for the general public to view. Take your “College” and stuff it where the sun don’t shine. I totally agree with Stuart. We are constantly upgrading due to new technology and having to buy new tools constantly to do our jobs. This is nothing but a money making scam by the government. How is charging more money going to attract new apprentices? You are going to kill the “TRADES” off then where will you collect more money from when there aren’t any people left in the “TRADES”. We aren’t mechanics until we complete 5 yrs of training to begin with and can’t claim most of our tools on our income taxes. Thanks for screwing us once again!

  7. Mark says:

    What an absolute load of horse shit this!!! Those clowns sitting in Toronto have got to be kidding. How on earth do they feel that this a fair deal. Charging six times the annual fee to do the same thing, if not less. They keep mentioning ‘consultative, transparent and fair way. It seems that none of these words go with what they are doing to us.
    I can’t believe that this has been passed, and that we apparently have to let them give it to us in the arse without taking us to dinner first!

  8. Kristen sweet says:

    JUST DON’T PAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BUT EVERYONE HAS TO NOT PAY……….

    Says in the letter we can be regulated like nurses, doctors, and teachers!! But they don’t have to pay every year!!! Why would you try to fix what isn’t broken??????
    They also say this will help promote trades to younger people. How do they expect younger people to benefit from this other then having to pay them? Offering no training or course. I feel like this was letter of threat telling me if I don’t pay I will be fined or convicted!!!!
    I’m wondering if any of these people in their bay st Toronto office even know one thing about doing a hands on trade other then pushing paper around and figuring out how gain more money doing nothing!!!!

    Conclusion: I need to sign myself up to the board and fight dirty!!!!!!

    ONCE EVERYONE DOSENT PAY….. WHAT CAN THEY DO??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

    This will scare people off from even bothering with working in the trades….

  9. rod says:

    I have been a tradesmen 310t / 310a for 30 years in this province. and this bull shit makes welfare look better and better,,,,no alarm clock, commuting,paying for tools….
    we have the most invested into our trade and get screwed over the most…..
    what gives them the right to dictate and force me to join something i do not agree with. i thought this was a free country……i say we stick together and DO NOT PAY
    they are going to revoke thousands of licences…..i think not

  10. derrick says:

    with all the government taxes not even worth carrying a bucket they wont even let us write off mechanic tools blood suckers are taxing the working man to death time to rise up and protest the dictators

  11. A Aduli says:

    I am not understanding the change if it adds no value to me other than making me think of selling my house and move out to another province, we can barley make a living in here with all the expenses, this is just an idea from one person who needed to create a new position for himself and screw the hard working people.

  12. Jimmy says:

    This is a ridiculous cash grab, so we have went from $60 every 3 yrs to $60 per licence every year someone please tell me what I get for this I have 3 licences non of which allows me to claim am
    Ny Tools I have over $100,000 invested but plumber and electricians can claim why

    Jimmy O

  13. mike says:

    OCOT is supposed to non-profit but if you use there own propaganda 170000 trades people and 100000 apprentices
    170000×120= 20,400,000
    100000×60 = 6,000,000
    per year
    $26,400,000 per year for 60 employees , I want a job working for them.

    • Paul Dunkley says:

      100% on the money!
      and with not a cent going toward training! That little piece of paper in my wallet just cost $360.
      Obviously there is some really slick(con artist) business person sitting in a corner office high on Bay St, that convinced the Ontario Ministry of Colleges this is such a good thing, and flew them on an all-expense paid ‘conference'(retreat) to sign the deal.

      Bend over fellow tradesmen

  14. Peter Ormerod says:

    What I think everyone has forgotten or misunderstood is that we (ARE NOT A DEMOCRACY) accountable to the majority. Somewhere along alone the line it all changed to some hybrid – Communist Dictatorship. Run by a bunch of high maintenance, lavish greedy con artists, with there own personal agenda. Which requires substantial influx of cash. And of course since all tradesmen operate under the table scamming the general public for billions, we can afford this.

    The syndicate model is simple, get a piece the action all the action.
    You work I in my territory, your going to pay protection.

    • Robert Koci says:

      If that’s how you feel, you must love the recent announcement by Ontario’s Auditor General that the Liberal government farted away $1 billion of Ontario taxpayers dollars to win the last election.

  15. Stuart says:

    I wonder I they moved there hit fancy office off of Bay Street down town toronto into a more affordable location like Oshawa Whitby Aja Pickering Scarborough etc if they could afford to lower the fees. The only way I am going to re new my license is if they form a union. Have a set payscale like electricians and plumbers and so
    On. Force the economy to pay us what we are worth other wise take my license ill do side jobs. Screw it! And screw the prick who thought this was a good idea. I’d like to meet the guy………

  16. pat moody says:

    I agree with most people on this site but mostly with Stuart, after 40+ years in the trade, bye-bye, they are not getting any more money from me, tools for sale as well.

  17. Johnny Zee says:

    I recently received my notice to renew my electrical license….Figuring on about $120 for 3 years. Now I have to join this damn College and pay $120 annually??!!
    Cash grab is right!!!! Just another tax for the working class to pay. I’m totally disgusted!!! This “College membership” is of absolutely no value to me or anyone working the trades.

  18. pissed off sparky says:

    The liberal government is providing new jobs to hundreds who work at the college…on the trades backs, this college only steals from the trades, provides no true benefit. Its just another layor of bullshit and like all taxes will keep going up in order to provide the colleges employees they’re large salaries and bonuses… all on the trades backs. It’s time that the trades and citizens of Ontario revolt against the beast,(liberals) before it devours us all.

  19. Peter B. says:

    When i got my FINAL notice i thought it was a joke! i had already renewed my licence last year and had it in my pocket saying good till 2014. I thought i was set till i retired , but when i phoned them to confirm they said i owed $70.00 more and instead of the original $70.00 for 3 yrs it is now $140 for 1 yr! Then I found out they will not be doing one thing to better the trade other then cheching to make sure all trades people are licenced so they can collect there redicuse fee to line their pockets with.Money grab in the purist! So I ASK ALL TRADES PEOPLE , WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO? Don’t just bitch and complain and do nothing, we may as well pull the grass over us and call it a day.Trades built this country and keep it going, trades can take it down too.

    • rose says:

      awesome,great words,so what can we do next,I donot want to pay,please somene stand up for us.

      • Peter B. says:

        we all have to stand up together , that’s what they rely on us not standing up together so they can bully any thing at us. get all you friends who are in trades together and go to your government official and voice your opinions I am.Just do it that’s your right! start a petition and sen it to the ministry . God are we loosing our rights and democracy?

    • Rich says:

      That’s a great idea, we should do something,you make a call, we will follow.

      • Peter B. says:

        What I am doing my friend is going to my government rep and ‘E” mailing all gov agencies related to this sham and getting all the people i know in trades to do the same because if we don’t stick together on this it won’t be the last. Also any others that want to give me their comments on this e mail them to me with your names and i’ll submit them to my gov rep when i go

  20. andrew says:

    All of this is nothing else – new name for a cash cow, and sweet job for body-body

  21. Peter B. says:

    I strongly suggest that all trades people jam the labor ministry and MPP and mps offices with phone calls and e mails and letters until they get the message this is NOT acceptable and also kill the liberal party next election for this rediculas invention! Do this for one week solid and see what happens, If this don’t get their attention then we go to plan “B’ iF WE DO NOTHING THIS I GARANTEE WON’T BE THE LAST THING THEY HIT US WITH. I urge all trades people to stand up against this rediculous money grab!

    • John Newton says:

      Hello Peter B.
      What you fail to understand is that over 95% of all Canadians do not have the testicular courage to confront government about anything, and they are very happy living lives of denial. There was a time in Canada when the average citrizen ended a sentence by saying “Ay”, We were famous for that around the world. Now at the beginning of each sentence many Canadians now say “Dah”. Take highway 407 for example; when it opened “nobody should have gone on it”. There would be no toll on that highway today if people had enough intelligence to simply stay off it.
      I like your thoughts Peter, but what you suggest will never come to be.

      • Peter B. says:

        Hi John, unfortunately I have to agree with you about most have no balls to stand up for their rights! But guess what, I’m not one of them! Call me a shit disturber or what ever but I’m going to my government rep’s office and sending “E” mails to the ministry of trades who ever they are and minister of labor with some of my own comments and suggestions. So if anyone out there has the balls to join me let me know and I’ll tell you when . For the rest of you lambs, at least have the small courage to send messages , “E” mails or letters to those so called officials that we pay salaries to and demand to reverse this gouge on us trades people and get real! You know it used to be we voted for the party who we thought had the best ideas and do the best for us, but unfortunately we have to now vote for the ones that we think will do the least harm to us , sad but true EH?

    • John Newton says:

      Peter B.
      I’m sure if you are aware of this but Canada does imprison citizens who ask too many question “or demand answers from politicians”. If you type BRAD LOVE THOUGHT CRIME into any search engine you’ll read about a Canadian construction worker who demanded to know whey government was continually importing gangs from the Caribbean, who were responsible for numerous murders in Toronto. Politicians would not answer him so he continued to demand answers, he was even writing to newspapers etc. The Canadian government jailed him for “18 months” and put him on probation for life. I am sure many hundreds of “Canadians with balls” have been brought before a provincial Human Rights Tribunal and given a choice “Jail or shut your mouth”,
      which comes with a criminal record. It’s not easy to fight communism,

    • John Newton says:

      Peter B.
      You must also realize that many people who see your site think that you are just a government employee (Internet police) and are afraid to say anything here, or give their names. People have become very suspicious of Canada’s police state government and the extent they will go through to find the shit disturbers in our society who are eager to expose government corruption. So, if you don’t get many people willing to say anything on your site “you know why”. I’m a Canadian born citizen who fled Canada and now live in Costa Rica. When I discovered that the politicians in Canada were spending “25 billion” borrowed dollars each year to support their excessive immigration policies (to secure votes), I just threw in the towel on Canada. And now I heard they are forcing the elderly to work until age 67 before being entitled to a government pension.

  22. John Newton says:

    As Canada’s police state government continues to take more control of citizens lives, these types of licenses and fees will be imposed on them. Government was able to strip all citizens of their basic right to free speech and expression “and there was no uproar”, so that opened the gate to a full assult on the public.
    Former US president once made this quote: If free speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. Are you starting to feel a bit sheepish lately?

    • Peter B. says:

      I guess that’s why the phrase “commonsense won’t be tolerated” came into being. So i wonder if there actually is a government in this world anyone can trust? It’s pretty bad we have let what our soldiers have fought and died for go to shit. I thought it was our right to ask civil servants questions, but then I thought I was living in a free democracy, silly me.

      • John Newton says:

        Peter B.
        I’ve written to numerous politicians over a period of many years and only one answered me, a older politician in Newfoundland.. It is almost impossible to motivate average citizens into confronting politicians regarding anything, mostly because they know they won’t get an answer, but also becaue many people are now afraid of government. It’s like the people who find their property taxes being too high, they are afraid that if they ask for a re-assessment that the bill will come back even higher, which often happens. Canadians will complain about government in their workplace or with family, but they are totally afraid to say anything in public or to a politician.

  23. Questo says:

    Hello to all above, Your comments are very clear, some expressed who start this whole mess called OCOT, if you go back and search you will find the culprits.

    Some expressed, inundated the phone lines and emails of the MTCU, so should the OCOT, none stop. If election come soon, yeah shame the liberals everywhere they go, great idea, showing the mismanage of public founds and all their scandals should be at hand, on papers to show to everyone.

    Displayed on large paper, for all to see, around theirs campaign signs all the scams.

    Some expressed the electricians are regulated by ESA/ECRA, but should understand why theses side agencies were created and how, this too was another front. Apparently the trades people became the victims of this parasitic system.

    Why ESA/ECRA those papers they sale it to you, does make you do your job any better, Why were you in the apprenticeship program then, lose your certificate or don’t keep it up to date, and see if the ECRA paper has any value.

    ESA/ECRA should be at the city level, this was another Ontario hydro scam.
    Its scam after scam until the people revolt and demand what need to be done to be fair. Government elected people are public servants not salesman for special interest.

  24. David Palmer says:

    Yes I do believe a regulatory body is required to improve the massive amount of low quality so called trades people in Canada and even throughout most of the world.
    Although just Canada in my opinion in this blog.
    In my opinion a private organization should do this, with guidance from the government…not government run. (Every thing the government is involved in is a total flop)
    My history, 6 years of electrical apprenticeship, 2 years linesman. Class A (unrestricted) electrical contractor B.C.
    employed by American firm for 16 years and worked in 10
    different countries, company spent $30,000.00 training me, possibly not a regular electrician.
    I would never enroll in a service and pay dues whereas that service has complete control over my working career and can rip up my certifications at any time..never , never.
    During my travels I found that so many states had their own rules for my trade an each state was its own little heigarcy or empire and why…a power trip for a few and another cash grab.
    In my opinion a person seeking an apprenticeship in the trades I ontario would be very foolish to continue here and I would move to a boom province.
    The next stewart an apprenticeship, do your schooling in you craft and also work every hour of overtime you can. Save and wisely investment your money to pay as few taxes as possible. I suggest as a few others I know did. They completed their trades, saved their money, learned the in and of real estate rental investing and retired in about 10 years.
    I was lucky, usually searched out projects, made good money and finally found overseas work.
    If you trades people just live off your 8am to 4pm salaries you will eke out a subsistant life.
    I spent over 3000 hours in trade courses and should have focused on purchasing more real estate rentals (total 17)
    If you focus on starting your own company you Mayl do well.
    To redo my electrical career (the international oil field was high pay, high energy and high stress) I would leave ontarioenroll in atrade in a boom province, save, save, save, educate in investing in an in depth way and pack it in in 10 or 15 years. Set you sights on at least owning 20 rental suites . The college of trades, working as a tradesman in ontario…no way.

  25. Eugene says:

    Enough is enough, less writing between each other lets put our words on the paper and send more letters then the government postal service can handle …..

  26. PETER B. says:

    Well I see everyone is hot about this uncalled for raise to our trade licensing fees,so what our we going to do about it but complain? It’s election time! kick those Liberals out1 Also make the other parties earn your vote by making reversing this as one of their platforms.

  27. Rick says:

    I am the situation where I did not pass my exam by the OCOT due date, so my employer laid me off. I have already made two attempts, and i’m going for a third try.

    The OCOT is in the business of putting people out of work if they cannot pass the exam for their trade in a specified amount of time. The government says there is a skilled trades shortage. OCOT is making the storage even worse.

    If the OCOT wants to “promote” trades to young people, they will need to get rid of the red tape as a first step.

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