Canadian Contractor

Opinion: Let the OCOT die


January 30, 2020
By Rob Blackstien

A couple of weeks ago, Rick Hjelholt wrote in to express the opinion that the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) was not necessary.

Mark Mitchell not only agreed, but he piled on with aplomb!

I’m with Rick. Let the OCOT die the painful death it deserves. It was a cash cow, and did nothing to stop fraud by dishonest contractors, or crappy work by licensed ones. It certainly caused a lot of guys to stop paying and retire though. Let the industry figure itself out, keep the government out of it.

A painful death? Wow, that’s harsh. Well, let’s let our readers decide.

What do you think, Contractor Nation? Should the College be allowed to drift away peacefully in its sleep, or should cobras and red ants help expedite its demise?


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3 Comments » for Opinion: Let the OCOT die
  1. AK says:

    I started my apprenticeship prior to the inception of the OCOT, and by the time I finished my apprenticeship, the OCOT was in full power.

    Seeing both sides of the coin first hand, I have personally felt absolutely no benefits or positive outcomes from the OCOT — simply additional annual fees imposed on the trades. Being in the electrical trade, we are one of the most heavily regulated trades in Ontario. The OCOT was just another layer of RED TAPE that fueled the underground economy. To tell those of the underground economy that what they are doing is illegal is tantamount to telling a murderer that bank robbery is illegal. He’s already committed the most heinous of crimes, I don’t think he cares that a lesser crime is illegal.

    I’m not against regulation of the trades, I do believe there needs to be oversight and a measure of checks and balances. But I’m against the amount of regulation imposed on the trades. I have to answer to the Ministry of Labour, the Electrical Safety Authority, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (which governs the trade school curriculum in part, and my Certificate of Apprenticeship is from the MTCU), also the OCOT which is nothing more than a cash cow.

    When the MOL shows up on a site, I still have to provide my trade certifications as well as to OCOT when they show up. The MTCU governed training standards, licensing and certifications of the trades prior to the OCOT being created and licensing complaints and disputes were dealt through them. Between the MOL and the MTCU, the trades were more than adequately governed and those organizations still have a hand in the oversight of the trades in Ontario.

    If you’re going to have oversight, pick one agency and leave it at that. The OCOT is redundant. We currently have too many organizations that provide oversight. I think OCOT’s demise should be expedited by cobras and red ants.

  2. H.HUNDRIESER says:

    Let it die painfully. It was just a cash grab and did nothing for the trades. Fire all the employees and get the government out. We can save the money and do better things then they ever could. They were a total waste of money and time.

  3. questo says:

    I believe you guys forget another agency which is a cash crop too: ESA/ECRA, should also be closed down.

    Any licensed electricians do not need this agency to inspect their jobs, is another oversight to collect millions. Where all these founds are going? The PwC is their auditer, same guys were on the Angolan lady, she stole millions from Angola government and petro business.

    This was all over the news last week.

    In a free democracy with a fascist control it’s a bad idea, and paying for the allusion of freedom, it’s insane.

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