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Not everyone celebrating College of Trades first anniversary


April 9, 2014 – Ontario’s College of Trades is celebrating its one-year anniversary, but not everyone is showing up for cake. “After one year, we’re not seeing any benefits from the Ontario College of Trades,” said Cindy McCarthy, president of the Ontario Sewer & Watermain Construction Association. “The 600% increase in licensing fees is not providing any value to our members… it’s a tax grab, plain and simple.”

But John Norris, executive director of Collision Industry Information Association (CIIA), begs to differ: “The college has already helped our industry through better enforcement to ensure a level playing field for shops and technicians, and giving the industry through our Trade Board a real opportunity to improve training standards to meet future trade needs”.

The College of Trades explains there are 22 trades designated as compulsory in Ontario. To practice in a compulsory trade, an individual must be one of the following: a licensed journeyperson (holder of a valid CQ [Certificate of Qualification]); journeyperson candidate; registered apprentice with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities; holder of a provisional CQ.

“We look at Quebec’s 100% regulated construction market and we’re deeply concerned about the impacts of increased trade worker and industry regulation,” warned Paul McCarney, chair of Ottawa Construction Association. “This is going to cause a significant regulatory burden, decreased productivity due to strict scope of work definitions, the increased cost of construction and the increased incentive for work to be performed in the underground economy.”

In the past year, the college says it has taken “significant steps to protect the public interest and promote skilled trades” by:

• Creating a public register of members to allow the public to confirm a tradesperson’s qualifications
• Reviewing all 33 trades with journeyperson-apprentice ratios
• Completing close to 6000 field inspections
• Issuing 131 Provincial Offences Notices (tickets)