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Robert Koci   

(VIDEO) Rob and Steve talk about the average Canadian contractor's salary, plus the Ontario College of Trades

Canadian Contractor Coverage

$69,550 is the median income of the Canadian Contractor readers who filled out our 6th Annual OutRank Salary Survey.

Canadian Contractor publisher Rob Koci and editor Steve Payne talk about what’s in the mailbox to you (if you’re a subscriber… if not, visit SUBSCRIBE at the bottom of this website) in the March/April issue of our magazine.

In this video we talk about the Ontario College of Trades and the OutRank Salary Survey, both given wide coverage in this upcoming issue of the magazine.

Regarding the Ontario College of Trades: What powers DO they really have? The “director of enforcement” for OCOT, Bob Onyschuk, told Rob (see video here) last week that his compliance officers don’t need a complaint to ask for your papers in the province. Then he sort of said, well, yes they do. Then he said, no they don’t…  Oh well, watch for yourself.

Regarding the Salary Survey: $69,550 is the median Canadian Contractor annual salary. Now, that’s not bad, considering that it includes people billing $10,000 a year, as part-timers. Contractors are a deservedly well-paid community.



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16 Comments » for (VIDEO) Rob and Steve talk about the average Canadian contractor's salary, plus the Ontario College of Trades
  1. Ray Marsden says:

    Hi Rob.
    On this video you mention that Onyschuk really does want to represent the college. May I ask what college and where is its location. Have I missed something?
    Good work.

    • Robert Koci says:

      Ray: I get your point. CAn you make it to the press conference on Apil 8tt? I think the press conference will be an important step in showing the displeasure within the industry with the so-called college. You’ve been an articulate critic. Your commentary and passion would be helpful at the event.

  2. Bob Builder says:

    I assume that $69K annual income is based on their taxable income. So you can double that figure to include the “off the books” income.

    • Steve Payne says:

      Bob, what I didn’t report, is that 95 per cent of these respondents claimed to be strictly on the books (we had another question on cash work). Don’t know how many people lied. But this wasn’t a tax return, it was anonymous and really there was no risk in telling the truth. So I believe that the $70k number is mostly non-cash.

    • Brian says:

      Hi Bob,
      Your comment is exactly why the OCOT came into being. Why would a qualified tradesperson, such as yourself, ever want to do cash work under the table? I don’t understand this.
      Having a signed turnkey contract and all applicable permits in place for anything and everything you do is for the benefit of the contractor and the homeowner.
      The reason that your provincial government is trying to get in your pocket and your business is because of all the contractors doing work for homeowners and not being responsible for their work. You can’t tell me you are because, otherwise, you would be completely transparent to your customer and to your municipal government.

  3. So this is what The Ontario College of Trades (the College) says on their website ( :

    It is an industry-driven, professional regulatory body that protects the public by regulating and promoting the skilled trades. One of the main responsibilities of the College is to ensure that individuals performing the skills of compulsory trades have the training and certification required to legally practise this trade in Ontario. The College puts the decision-making in the hands of those that are directly impacted by those decisions.

    The College is also responsible for:
    • Issuing certificates of qualification and statements of membership
    • Establishing apprenticeship programs and other training programs
    • Maintaining a public registry of its members
    • The process for determining appropriate apprentice to journeyperson ratios
    • The process for trade classification reviews
    • Establishing the scope of practice for trades

    Now, in lay terms (in other words, to me) it really means this:
    1. Protecting public interest
    2. Protecting apprentices in Skilled Trades from unfair practices
    3. Modernizing the training of Skilled Trades
    4. Promoting the professionalism of Skilled Trades

    Now, I don’t think any one of you certified in a Skilled Trade could argue that if the OCOT could do those 4 things, you would all “win”.

    I get you have issues with HOW this all went down and HOW and by WHOM decisions are made about your profession.

    But, in my humble opinion, failure to distinguish your dislike regarding HOW the College came to be (and HOW it makes decisions) from WHAT the College is supposed to be about in the first place, will be your true path to losing your voice in this matter.

    I get the sense that you want to GAIN your voice, not lose it.

    Perhaps this is an opportunity to re-think how you position your rebuttal.

    Just saying…

    I wish you all tremendous business success and hope for your sake and for that of the entire construction industry, that you can get to the heart of the matter and find a resolution without losing your business (or your mind, or your health).


  4. Ray Marsden says:

    Re Catherine’s comments,

    It is an industry-driven, professional regulatory body that protects the public by regulating and promoting the skilled trades. One of the main responsibilities of the College ( where is this college ) is to ensure that individuals performing the skills of compulsory trades have the training and certification required to legally practise this trade in Ontario. The College puts the decision-making ( what decision making is meant here ) in the hands of those that are directly impacted by those decisions. ( does this mean the skilled worker or the public ) It is not clearly explained in this paragraph.

    Sorry to disagree with your interpretation of what these people are all about.
    They are or should I say have set up their plan to establish a bureaucracy to maintain a complex operation which can be continually expanded at the expense of both the public and all the trades.
    They have already shown their true values, example disregarding existing license renewal dates, calling themselves enforcers and talking huge fines, paying themselves huge wages and benefits. We will never know what they are really costing us because they will not make public a list of every cheque written showing what it is spent on.
    Why do people keep referring to these people as a college. There is no college!

    • Ray and Questo:

      Thank you for allowing me to be in this dialogue with you. I get this is an emotionally charged subject and that it has deep ramifications for all concerned. I really do. And especially how this impacts the small/family run business.

      I mean no disrespect whatsoever. My business is all about helping home-services providers (including builders, renovators and trades) build and sustain profitable businesses. So in a sense, my livelihood is also affected by the decisions of the OCOT.

      But there is a ton of anger and other emotions around this. I suspect that’s all that’s being heard – instead of what you (collectively) are trying to say.

      Here’s where I think I can help with some perspective:

      What you are trying to say makes sense, but I respectfully suggest you (collectively) temper the emotion with distinguishing between:
      1. What you don’t like about WHAT the OCOT is doing (i.e. their purpose) from
      2. What you don’t like about HOW the OCOT is doing what they are doing (i.e. decision making, voting, union vs non-union voice etc.)

      There’s an important difference here. So, if there are elements about WHAT the OCOT is doing that actually work for the trades involved,acknowledge that and then focus on what you don’t like about HOW they are carrying it out.

      If it’s all crap – position your arguments about WHAT and HOW separately. It will provide a way to organize your thoughts and it will help you to be heard.

      Respectfully offered to help you ensure your message is heard,


  5. Questo says:

    Hi Catherine, sense when I and all others certified C trades in this province over two decades and closer to three were asked to participated in any fair free vote to set this so called college of trades up, and any input decisions, according to them. Their beautiful illustration on their site, is all lies, nothing more.

    They set this tyranny up on appointed this and that, and decide what we should pay, plus tax, This is a scam. Was done undemocratic, and may soon have an enormous negative impact in our industry/commerce and constructor sectors.

    I consider this college an economic piracy. OCOT O-pportunists C-ashing O-n

    That’s why they are in a court mess right now about the electrical apprenticeship ratio, in apparent bias, IBEW were the ones to apparently choose for the others what they see fits, to serve them. What about small business family apprenticeship ratio , which have no voice on this college, teaching zero.

    This is another scam like so many others, done by the government of Ontario, just look the Gas plant scandal, and all others.

    Its failure after failure, and lies after lies, and using the laws to try to cover them up.

    Hey Rob, ask them all about the financial status, vacations, debt, wages, and the possibility of facing lawsuits. If possible, ask them why was never a fair and free vote, are they so afraid of that?

  6. Questo says:

    Ray, these are a college of thieves, wouldn’t stand on our courts on basic laws,
    The way of one self survival and their families, this college apparently goes against all principles, our laws in this country was set up on it.

    If they take ones license way and he/she can’t provide to his/her family by loosing their jobs, I believe the OCOT can be sue for it.

    They want c trades to sign into their bs to avoid been suited, by sign it, trades people became voluntary contracting them to allow them to control the trades. For that their have to put in place all this treats, fines and court scares. But If a Judge be informed the reality of this apparatus my not let himself be fooled.

    I haven’t sign yet, and waiting for them to came after me, I do not worry at all.

    However anyone is free to choose what to do with their careers.

  7. Ray Marsden says:

    Yes Questo they bring in supposed high profile politicians to prop up their false front and give themselves a feeling of being important and justified in accepting or should I say expecting or demanding huge salaries & benefits. I just hope enough trades people will refuse to sign up to their money pit and those of us that did already (like me) will not renew again, I will not.
    Thanks to Canadian Contractor for allowing our comments.

  8. Questo says:

    Hey, Ray, I challenged the OCOT to take me to the courts, I sent to them a lot of emails, describing who they are, what they stand for, and all the Canadian laws they had violated so far and refused to sign and did not pay.
    So far no answers.

    I am not a lawyer, a lot of these are my friends. I have 36 years of electrical carer and all attached to it., And also I have eng-eltrotech degree. Who are these f,,,, to tell me and all trades people how to do our jobs. Why should I and anyone pay these parasites. There is no justification.

    A lot of trades people went seven year program apprenticeship, when we came here, Canada, we had full license and have to do it all over again.

    Our great country allowing been destroyed by these aliens. This should never happen.

    This Liberal government was a disaster cense the beginning. The ex premier was worn the beginning of his term of a possible abuse of the ORLB and some unions, but closed his years. Look at it, they eat him alive, and all his government. Should I fell sorry for him and his cronies, hell no.

    The OCOT isn’t contributing for the betterment of society, these are parasites.
    There are some other agencies can be considered the same as them.

    How long were the OCOT apprenticeship programs, are these people certified in what? maybe only in this: corruption, deceiving, lies, circumvention, coercion, fraud, Ho can one pay something and have no benefit from it. This alone violates the laws of contracts. The unions collect fees, but they have benefits, and retirement programs.

    I believe the courts should stop this OCOT to operate on the bases of fraud. No one can collect money on behalf of something which does not exist, or at least have a fake existence.

  9. Joe Greps says:

    I have some questions for this fine gentleman from the OCoT’s

    What percentage of potential members have declined to join your College and what grounds do you hold for continuing to list them on your registry.

    Do you feel the term “Suspended” is appropriate to describe someones standing in a public registry that has declined membership and has never been found guilty of an infraction?

    Do red seal tradesmen from other provinces have to join the CoT to work in Ontario? If so- is that not completely contradictory to the goal of the Red Seal program? if other provinces reciprocate (as is likely) do you recognize how much this will cost tradespeople?

    With over 150K tradespeople in Ontario you must have many many complaints, how many tradespeople have been investigated and suspended? In a province of 13.5 million with all those bad haircuts and shoddy repairs you claim a mandate to enforce I can only speculate it must be in the hundreds. How many involve non compulsory trades?

    How do you effectively replace 140 labour inspectors in the construction industry alone with roughly 40 while increasing their scope to include everything from hairdressers to auto repair?

    Are these adjudicators full time? Seems odd one could do that and be the Vice-President at Amherst Group and president of an Art gallery all at the same time?

    How many former members of building trades unions serve as adjudicators? Do you feel they treat union and non union job sites/workers equally? Do you not see a conflict of interest here?

  10. Questo says:

    Hey Joe, Apparently the fraud is so large is like a inflated balloon ready to burst.

    So far refusing to comply with their demands are: out of 90.000, 85.000 compulsory apprentices and another 4.300 were ready for exam C&Q but can’t do it, and by April 8 2014, they will become illegal to work on their careers.

    That’s beautiful isn’t it, another scandal.

    So Garfield Dunlop introduce a private bill to extend it for another four years to avoid this mess. The bill believe, not has been approved yet. If not approved, will create a problem, economic damaged. How far the Ontario business will hold this mess.

    So keep eyes on the news, Garfield will do a press conference about this issue on the morning of April 8 around 9 am. I believe he will ask publicly to close this apparatus. That will be interesting. Red seal and others from other provinces, at this point no body seems to know how they are dealing with it.

    The term ”Suspend” ones licence for refusing, will have a backfire on them, because laws were violated and when these occurs, one have to defend their rights.

    For every dollars loosed as wages and job lost the OCOT can be accountable for.
    This isn’t a college, is a pit of money grabs, a club of maniacs, based on lies and coercing, serving many boards at the same time, and masters of none.

  11. Questo says:

    It’s a crash diet that is threatening to burn the new Ontario government. Rookie social services minister David Tsubouchi, overseeing drastic cuts to the province’s welfare system, has already infuriated opponents by suggesting welfare recipients could make ends meet by haggling with shopkeepers over tins of tuna. Now he’s published a welfare shopping list that includes pasta without sauce, bread without butter, and the elusive 69-cent tuna can. Critics are calling it “the nanny state at its worst.”

    This was in 1995

    The Present OCOT CEO keep selling dreams fantastic.

  12. Questo says:

    Hi Catherine, thanks for your comment, and expressing the negative impact this may or is apparent causing to your business, if not abolished will cause even more.

    It is not about emotions or likes or dislikes about the OCOT. In other pages on this blog there is the discloser of wages in the OCOT personnel, Its disgusting.
    Its about themselves not about the costumers protection and trades licenses.

    One have to know where this whole thing originated and who started?
    When you figure that out you may have different opinion on this issue.

    Apparently is the same one’s start the ECRA too. There are apparently no benefit’s for the trades compulsory people from this OCOT, so generates the dislikes.

    The imposing manner this is and was formed, its was and still unfair, so again generates more dislikes.

    There is no need for this monster, apparent mother of violations of our basic laws using al source of cover coated slogans to justify their existence, so dislikes.

    Our Ontario legislature apparently was used like a toll to secure this insane apparatus the same was the ECRA.

    Any journeyman/women goes for apprenticeship program( 4-5 years) and pass the C&Q he/she are deemed professional to operated their careers of choice.

    wouldn’t need side ways agencies to sale into them another so called licenses and memberships cards and papers. Our province once attracted grate trades peoples here now is looking worst then third world countries.

    This is nothing but money grab machines to pay board of directors and CEO’s
    under a lot of paranoia.

    The costumers are the ones to judge the bad and good work done by any trades people. And the courts are in place to for those are abusing their trades towards costumers. So we trades people don’t need this messy apparatus.

    What we all trades compulsory people need, I believe, is a free and respect full way of operating our careers without imposing methods and forms to collect from us in unfair manner. So that should allow the small business family to operate they way he/she chooses. Allowing family business to boom not to kill them to please unions and special interests. So this way your business may have a change to grow freely.


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