Canadian Contractor

Video: Rob, Steve and readers weigh in on the Ontario College of Trades’ fees for "compulsory" trades

The College will be invoicing lots of you in April. $120 for licensed trades in certain categories, and $60 for apprentices. Many readers of Canadian Contractor are angry about this, saying that the College is offering little or no value in return.

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November 27, 2012 by Robert Koci

The Ontario College of Trades, which will offer no classes and teach no courses, is set to mail out fees invoices in April 2012 to licensed sheet metal workers, plumbers, electricians and heating and air conditioning mechanics. Those are just the four “compulsory” (must pay the $120 annual fee) trades that the College is targeting in the home improvement industry. Another 20-odd trades, in other industries, will also be required to pay these fees.

In this video segment, Canadian Contractor’s Rob Koci and Steve Payne talk about the controversy surrounding these fee requests and read a couple of contractor’s comments about the College.

And Rob talks about RenoSummit, the training seminars recently conducted in Vancouver and Calgary.

Robert Koci

Robert Koci

Rob Koci is the publisher of Canadian Contractor magazine. Tel. 647-407-0754
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9 Comments » for Video: Rob, Steve and readers weigh in on the Ontario College of Trades’ fees for "compulsory" trades
  1. Bruce MacKinnon says:

    How did this become law anyway?
    How’s about organizing an Internet letter campaign to the Province? Like openmedia in defense of an open Internet

    • Steve Payne says:

      You can thank labour lawyer and consultant Tim Armstrong, who in 2008 wrote a report for the Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, recommending that Ontario’s tradespeople get this new organization. The Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeships Act was passed in 2009. Whereupon Armstrong himself got appointed chair of the appointments council. Without wishing to cast aspersions on the integrity of Mr. Armstrong, is that not a sweet gig? Recommend a new quasi-governmental body get set up, in an impartial report. Get appointed to that very organization. Actually, better: get to chair the council that makes further appointments to it. Well, it beats getting your hands cut up snipping sheet metal and then being invoiced $120 a year for the privilege of remaining “in good standing” with the College, does it not?

  2. Dennis Bering says:

    Does it ever end? The McGuinty government has proven to be like a dictatorship, with their constant and relentless pursuit of our money! It’s an endless stream of new and increased fees and taxes – most of them being after tax fees! They’re taking away our rights with the green energy act and others; gouging us for more and more money, then squandering it carelessly! It has to stop – it’s time to stand up for our rights and say, NO – we are not paying any more!”

    Vote these idiots out of office once for all – vote PC when we have the opportunity to make a difference!

  3. leo maglietta says:

    i will not pay additional fees for some one to look good when i have to work a 60 hr week and hope to get paid at the end of the job.

  4. D. Brian Baker says:

    The Trades in Ontarion need to take this all the way to the highest court in the land and fight this to the bitter death. If the trades in Ontarion stand for this, the rest of the Country is doomed. Where can I send my cheque to help fight the fight. Where are the Trade Associations in this? Why have they not taken the fight and gone wild over this? I thought communisium and dictatorships were in the past. This is very concerning and words cannot express my outrage.

    • Steve Payne says:

      Brian, a legal battle won’t stop it, because there’s nothing illegal about this, in fact it IS law: The Ontario College of Trades Act. Most of the lobby against OCOT is being done by the Ontario Construction Employers Coalition, which has a website, It tells you how to get involved in opposing the College.

  5. D. Brian Baker says:

    Well if no one pays the bill and refuses and shuts down the business what will they do. What I see happening is that the underground economy will just take off like a rocket and the vast majority of what businesses built will simply fall away. This is just ridiculous and will be imitated by other Provinces, we will all have to be on our toes to do our best to fight this. Thnaks

  6. Paul Rhynold says:

    I am all ready regulated by the electrical safety authority with which i have to pay licencing fees and contractor fees just to operate. Why do we need another body to do this? How about they start by going after the ‘handyman’ that I have seen in my 15 years of being in the trades. It’s bad enough already that I have to work 50 to 60 hrs a week and hope to get paid in full at the end of the job. I have seen so many renovation contractors that do their own electrical and plumbing and HVAC. Why don’t they just drive around and stop at all the big dump bins in the driveways and make sure everyone there has licences and permits? I don’t get it ………

  7. Joseph Brown says:

    I’m confused. What purpose does the OCoT serve? Being a Gas Technician, and paying out fees consistently to the TSSA with minimum 3hr inspection fees per annum, I was under the impression that the TSSA’s mandate (through these inspections) is to ensure that all Heating companies and related Trades are in compliance. Furthermore, all heating licenses and trades people involved with fuels must constantly strive to be compliant in order to keep said licenses. Is this not a form of enforcement? To date, I’ve seen nothing that shows us what the real purpose of the OCoT is; on the surface it appears to have absolutely no relevance to either its stated mandate or enforcement of compliance. Last, but not least, is it legal for an entity to call itself a college when it’s no such thing?