Editor’s note: The headline of this news brief has been updated from an earlier version which mistakenly stated that the Ontario College of Trades opposes the Dean report. In fact, Pat Blackwood, chair of the college’s board of governors, said in a statement: “The Ontario College of Trades, along with the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, received Mr. Dean’s recommendations to help address some technical processes that we all agree could benefit from improvement.”
Ontario’s certified construction trades say they are concerned with the government of Ontario’s decision to quickly implement recommendations, outlined in a review of the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT), without any consultation. The review was completed by Tony Dean for Training, Colleges and University Minister Reza Moridi.
“The fact that the government would move unilaterally without discussing the recommendations with stakeholders is troubling considering how wide-ranging Dean’s proposed recommendations are,” Said James Hogarth, business manager for the Ontario Pipe Trades Council, in a press release.
The Ontario College of Trades, a professional regulatory body, is tasked with ensuring that individuals performing the skills of certified trades have the training and certification to legally practice in Ontario, among other responsibilities.
“Dean’s recommendations have far-reaching impacts on worker and public safety,” said Tim Fenton, business manager of the Ontario Sheet Metal Workers Conference. “In the government’s rush they are pushing changes without understanding how these changes will affect the trades.”
The College of Trades is a self-regulating body that is mandated to oversee and modernize skilled trades in the province while protecting public interest. Ontario’s trades supported the creation of the OCOT as it would provide better consumer protection and promotion of the skilled trades.
“The concept of the college is right but Dean’s report is offside with the core idea of a self-governing and regulatory body,” said Mike Gallagher, business manager for International Union of Operating Engineers. “The fact that the government is blindly following these recommendations is troubling.”
“The government’s decision to not hold any consultation on this report is a slap in the face to stakeholders,” added John Grimshaw, executive secretary treasurer of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Worker Construction Council of Ontario. “This is a departure from the normal course of action for a government that trumpets consultation.”
Ontario’s compulsory and non-compulsory construction trades represent over 100,000 workers across the province.