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Opinion: OCOT’s demise should be expedited by cobras and red ants


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February 5, 2020 by Rob Blackstien

The ongoing saga of the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) continues this week with more vehemence.

Last week, Mark Mitchell said the OCOT should die the painful death it deserves.

Several readers agreed with this line of thinking, and few of them held back.

First, AK offered the following history lesson:

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.

Cobras and red ants, oh my!

Not to be outdone, H. Hundrieser summed things up with more brevity:

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.

Don’t hold back, sir!

Canadian Contractor provided an update on the OCOT winding down last week, and it sparked another rant, this time, by Questo:

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

Soon the OCOT will starve a slow dead with (the) painful and agony of a scorpion’s stings. Should also be the ESA/ECRA and their insane squad. There is no need for these agencies when full licensed electricians can do their jobs freely. Either we all live in a democracy or we do not. The fascism control should not be tolerated any longer. If trades people fulfill their obligations as pros, no need for cash collectors. These agencies in the name of consumer protection services can not be justified.

Too many none for profit orgs, in the allusion department, collecting millions. None for profit orgs were intended for charities, not for control agencies. Governments should be able to fulfill the public services, and not allow any private or none for profits in control of their obligations.

Wow, Contractor Nation sure is passionate about this topic. At the risk of piling on, anyone else have an opinion, yeah or nay, about OCOT?