OEL seeks resignation of Pat Dillon of Ontario College of Trades over comments
By Anthony Capkun
The Ontario Electrical League condemned the “biased and partisan comments made by a public appointee of the Ontario Government, Patrick Dillon”, who served as the acting chair of the Ontario College of Trades at its public consultation in Ottawa. In an article appearing in the Daily Commercial News, Pat Dillon is quoted as saying:
“… Hudak [leader of Ontario’s PC Party] is out campaigning for election funds, and is using the Merit Open Shop Contractors Association of Ontario and the Ontario Electrical League (OEL) as mechanisms to do so via the ratio issue.”
“Pat Dillon has been quoted making biased and derogatory remarks specifically about the Ontario Electrical League,” said Mary Ingram, OEL president. “It is completely unacceptable for a public appointee of the Government of Ontario—especially when that individual is serving as the acting chair of a supposedly impartial consultation open to the public—to smear stakeholder organizations that are appearing before them. He cannot continue in this position, we are calling for his resignation.”
Dillon is the business manager and secretary treasurer of the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario. He has also served as executive chair of the IBEW and he is a member of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. A certified electrician, Dillon is a director and past-president of the Ontario Construction Secretariat and the Construction Safety Association.
OEL says it continues to be a non-partisan organization and that, through its survey of its contractor members (both union and non-union), roughly 90% of respondents support changing the journeyman-apprentice ratio to one-to-one.
“Ratio change is still our number one priority for our government relations committee,” Ingram is quoted saying in Daily Commercial News. “We are a non-partisan organization and our contractors are volunteer members and they can do as they see fit.”
“The Ontario Electrical League approached these consultations in good faith, as a leading stakeholder in Ontario’s electrical industry,” added Ingram. “How can we trust anything that is produced by the current College of Trades process if these partisan smears are allowed to stand?”
“Mr. Dillon’s comments indicate to us that the decision-makers at the College of Trades have no intention of reducing the apprenticeship ratios. As long as he is part of this process, these consultations are a sham,” concluded Ingram.