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Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) in the red last year by $3.5-million

If your business runs at minus 26 per cent profit, you'll be pumping gas pretty soon. But don't expect to see Ontario College of Trades registrar and CEO David Tsubouchi asking to check your oil down at your local ESSO.


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October 15, 2014 by Alec Caldwell

How long will YOUR business last if you continue to spend 26 per cent more money than you take in?

Thought so. You’d be pumping gas for a living pretty fast, wouldn’t you?

Well, over at the  Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) Registrar and CEO Dave Tsubouchi won’t be filling up your car or truck any time soon even though his organization reported 2013 revenues of $13,326,192 (the bulk of it being compulsory membership fees from tradespeople and contractors) while still managing to spend $16,796,752.

A shortfall of $3,470,560.

Minus 26 per cent.

Check it out for yourself online (Ontario College of Trades 2013 Annual Report).

Maybe not helping matters was the ten Ontario College of Trades employees who are listed on the Ontario Sunshine List with yearly incomes ranging from $103,000 to $180,000 (Mr. Tsubouchi’s income is the big number there). The OCOT’s total salary tab last year was $8,187,288.

I wonder how many trades earn these kind of dollars?

How can OCOT raise more money to offset their debt? One obvious way they can do this is convert more trades from their extensive target list and make them “compulsory” trades. No different than the recent recommendation to make sprinkler and fire protection installers “compulsory.” It’s like being able to print your own money, isn’t it?  I wonder who will be next on their hit list?

The OCOT spin doctors have been working hard to tell the public and the industry how good they are. You will have seen the story about the unlicensed electrician now doing time in jail. You will have seen other stories about how consumers can check the credentials of tradespeople by visiting the OCOT’s website.

Everything is lined up for the OCOT to mandate whole new classes of contractors and tradespeople into their organization.

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Alec Caldwell

Alec Caldwell

Alec Caldwell is the Founder of CARAHS, a Health & Safety Organization. We are approved providers by the Ministry of Labour (Ontario) to teach Working at Heights Training (Pro#34609) Visit the Ministry of Labour's web site to view our listing
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4 Comments » for Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) in the red last year by $3.5-million
  1. Mark Mitchell says:

    They are stealing from the working class, paying themselves our money, and wanting more. I know of several tradesmen that have had to pay the reinstatement fee ($135) while they were laid off, waiting for their pogey. This is a shameless tax grab that only benefits the privileged ones that work there. When will the looting and plundering of working peoples wages end? Only when we stand together, and run these crooks out of town!

  2. Sean Keane says:

    Prior to the last election the next trades to be brought into the fold were carpenters and drywallers, a more powerful group than anticipated, the liberals felt it necessary to put this forced licence on hold. One can wonder why, the pressure exerted was significant and every vote would count.
    Now that the election is over and to once more try and save a failing corrupt institution you can bet that as the construction industry is now forced to pay premiums to the wsib, the save of the OCOT will meet the same fate, more and more trades will be forced into this organization.
    The question always needs to be asked, what do they provide the consumer other than an extra cost. It’s simply a licence to work, there is no education program hence the essence of being called a college shows its fraudulant existence. Unions support them yet the membership does not. How is that, is it not the membership that should be making the decisions.
    Much like the WSIB unions put their backs behind it, not for the safety of their members but fir the financial security of their books. Using the propaganda that paying the wsib would one make and individual safer and two even out the playing field. Does that not sound familiar the OCOT promotes their licence makes for better work and more competent workers. How is that acheived, are we all fools that fall and believe this crap. I have been in this industry for more than 25 years, I have seen some excellent work as well as some very shoddy work. For example we have crappy tapers, good tapers and excellent tapers. Their is no license that I know would make a shoddy taper better.
    Yet once again like the WSIB you are now forced to pay OCOT and as sheep led to slaughter we sit back and await our fate, in this case most pay out of fear and that’s how we are ruled. Those who want to fight back find themselves out numbered by those who won’t rock the boat. That’s the sad reality of our industry. You can bet the powers that be have grasped this reality and use that fear to keep you under control. Until that changes prepare yourselves for two things, one the door of OCOT will be widened to bring in more and more people to pay their salaries, and as WSIB seeks mandatory coverage for all, bill 119 has not acheived the illigitimate goal we will see more industries added to the list of mandatory coverage.
    In fact I have been contacted by a man running a tiny business that he has received a letter from WSIB seeking to investigate and audit his business to see that he has no employees, which he has not, and also to determine if his business is considered construction. The letter states they came across his company from the yellowpages. Unfortunately I can’t tell you what type of buisness nor his name. The shocking reality is the government and wsib read these articles, look at the names and in some cases put more pressure on the individuals that make these sort of claims. The gentlemen told me straight out that he feared retaliation by these unscrupulous people. Now that’s reality

  3. Finally – Some good news: The OCOT carpentry issue is beginning to boil over!

    Toronto Sun Tuesday November 11, 2014

    Changes may be needed at the Ontario College of Trades, Premier Kathleen

    Wynne says: “We need to make sure that the college does what it was set up to do” ” And so that’s why we’re doing a review of the college.”

    The Toronto Sun says: “The Ontario College of Trades is being asked to designate carpentry as a compulsory trade — a controversial move that critics argue would devastate the province’s construction industry”

    “Critics argued it drives up costs for employers, particularly in construction, and bans people from working in certain trades even after decades of on-the-job experience’

    Progressive Conservative MPP Garfield Dunlop said “tens of thousands of Ontario construction employees would have to obtain certification to continue working legally in Ontario if their trade were to be listed as compulsory by the college”

    “This is so absolutely insane,” Dunlop said Thursday. “I don’t know how any government could possibly allow this to happen. Compulsory certification of the carpentry industry will cripple the construction industry in Ontario.”
    “Up to 90% of construction in Ontario is done by people who don’t hold a certificate of qualification in carpentry, something that will be compulsive if the College of Trades follows through with the plan” he said.

    “All these guys you see out there framing houses and building kitchen cabinets, doing work on footings, the guys who do the fine trim on houses — they’re all classified as carpenters,” Dunlop said. “The college has already said there would be no grandfathering (of trades people).”

    “Homeowners doing renovations could feel the impact in their wallets because only licensed carpenters would be allowed legally to do carpentry, much like how only certified electricians can do wiring”

    “The bigger problem will be finding certified carpenters” Dunlop said.

  4. Edith Knox says:

    Hello there,
    My name is Edith, and I am a hairstylist, and in good standing with the OCOT. Myself as well as many other people feel that the Ministry of skills & labor should be put back, and the OCOT be removed. They are not a college, they don’t train people in any trade as per Ian, an OCOT employee. Instead of paying a fee of $60.00 every three years, we are forced to pay $136.00 every year now, and if we can’t afford to pay it, we are being fined. AND we can’t even work because the OCOT will put us as inactive. In my opinion, that is extortion, and is illegal! I know of many people who have lost their jobs, their homes and even their lives because of OCOT.
    Employers can’t afford to hire, or even take on an apprentice because they have to pay fees.
    The employees at OCOT are rude and talk down to us tradespeople, and they are no help at all, that’s if you can even get a hold of a real person. They just tell us to go on their website, which is no help either. OCOT are over payed, glorified answering machines! They wouldn’t know how to do real work. They are really good at putting honest, hard working people out of work. I don’t have anything good to say about OCOT, so I’m gonna stop there.
    ***I really hope that this reaches someone who can do something to get the OCOT out!

    Best,
    Edith Knox