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Campaign to close the Ontario College of Trades continues to grow


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July 3, 2012 by On-Site Magazine

Two more associations have joined the Ontario Construction Employers Coalition campaign to get the provincial government to shut down the Ontario College of Trades.

With the addition of the Heavy Construction Association of Regional Niagara and the Hamilton & District Heavy Construction Association, there are now 14 organizations that have joined the campaign.

“We’d like to speed up infrastructure spending, not see it slowed down by another layer of cost and bureaucracy,” said Bob Hunter, president of the Heavy Construction Association of Regional Niagara. “The College of Trades will amount to nothing more than a tax grab and bureaucratic roadblock.” 

The coalition recently sent a formal submission to the college, regarding concerns it has about a lack of transparency and information around the college’s budgetary requirements, future business plans, and its financial accountability to Ontarians.

“Construction employers from across the province are uniting in the fight to stop the college and its tax plan,” said Sean Reid, chair of the Ontario Construction Employers Coalition. “An $84 million tax on trades doesn’t just send a shiver through the industry; it will drive up costs for all Ontarians.”

The Ontario College of Trades is proposing to impose the following annual membership fee ranges:

$50 – $100 for Apprentices

$100 -$200 for Journeypersons

$100 – $600 for Employers depending on whether they are small, medium or large

$50 – $100 for a new class of Tradesworkers (compulsory and voluntary)

“Ontario has struggled for years to attract more people to the skilled trades,” added Reid. “The College and its bureaucracy will drive experienced people out, and discourage many from considering trades as a career choice. That’s the sad reality, and that’s why the College must be stopped.”

The Ontario Construction Employers Coalition employs more than 80,000 skilled tradespeople across Ontario.

Ontario Construction Employers Coalition members:

– Conestoga Heavy Construction Association
– Durham Regional Heavy Contractors Association
– Greater Toronto Sewer & Watermain Contractors Association
– Hamilton & District Heavy Construction Association
– HCAT – Heavy Construction Association of Toronto
– Heavy Construction Association of Regional Niagara
– Merit Openshop Contractors Association of Ontario
– OEL – Ontario Electrical League
– OGCA – Ontario General Contractors Association
– ORBA – Ontario Road Builders Association
– OSWCA – Ontario Sewer & Watermain Construction Association
– PCA – Progressive Contractors Association of Canada
– RESCON – Residential Construction Council of Ontario
– Sarnia Heavy Construction Association


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