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Tony Dean turns in his homework on Ontario College of Trades

November 21, 2015 | By Anthony Capkun

November 21, 2015 – Appointed just over a year ago to review “key areas of Ontario’s skilled trades system” that fall within the mandate of the Ontario College of Trades, Tony Dean has completed his task, and the province says it will accept the recommendations made by former secretary of cabinet.

“My recommendations are designed to put the college on a stronger and more sustainable footing, and I’m confident that, over time, they will result in even better support for skilled tradespeople across Ontario,” said Dean.

DOWNLOAD the complete report below. [There’s some great discussion involving clashes between college enforcement and decisions of the Ontario Labour Relations Board (p 103). Cases cited include Stacey Electric and the Windsor Herb Gray Parkway (p 107), solar farm in Cochrane (p 110), and more. — Ed.]

According to the province, Dean’s recommendations will help improve the college’s processes and clarify its mandate by:


• Supporting the existing trade boards to update and bring consistency to all trades’ scopes of practice
• Reviewing how trades are classified through the establishment of an independent and evidence-based process that will use risk of harm as a key criterion
• Establishing clearer and more concise criteria on how journeyperson-to-apprentice ratios are determined
• Developing an enforcement and compliance committee and appeal process to resolve potential conflicts earlier, as well as ensure enforcement activities are consistently carried out with safety and the public interest in mind

Ontario says it will bring forward proposed legislative changes in the spring legislative session and “work closely with the College of Trades to implement Mr. Dean’s recommendations”.

The province says Dean’s report was informed by an “open and transparent year-long review that included consultations with several hundred tradespeople, employers and industry and trade boards representing more than 70 trades”.

“We are pleased that Mr. Dean’s report endorses the valuable work we do on a daily basis to protect the public interest and modernize and promote the skilled trades in Ontario,” said Pat Blackwood, OCoT’s board of governors chair.

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