Support grows for campaign to shut down the Ontario College of Trades
By On-Site MagazineConstruction Skills Development
The Ontario Construction Employers Coalition campaign to urge the McGuinty government to shut down its newly formed Ontario College of Trades gained momentum June 19 with four more associations joining the fight. The new campaign members are:
• Conestoga Heavy Construction Association;
• Durham Regional Heavy Contractors Association;
• Greater Toronto Sewer & Watermain Contractors Association; and
• Sarnia Heavy Construction Association.
“Never in our 50 year history have we seen such a blatant tax grab,” said Wayne Bruce, president of the Durham Region Heavy Contractors Association. “There’s no question that the College will not only drive up costs for our members, but infrastructure projects across the province.”
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)
“The more tradespeople and employers learn about the College of Trade’s proposal to impose an $84 million tax on the skilled trades, the more convinced they are of the need to join the campaign to shut down the College,” said Sean Reid, chair of the Ontario Construction Employers Coalition. “We have no doubt our campaign to stop the College will keep growing in numbers, making it harder and harder for the McGuinty government to ignore the voices of trades people in Ontario.”
In a formal submission to the Ontario College of Trades, the Coalition outlined several concerns, including a lack of transparency and information around the College’s budgetary requirements, future business plans, and how the College will be financially accountable to Ontarians.
“The College of Trades is a boondoggle that will drive people out of skilled trades and drive up construction costs for consumers,” Reid added. “Without transparency, accountability, or explanation of any real benefits to the skilled trades sector, the College is in no position to impose a new $84 million tax on Ontario trades workers and employers, and we’re in no position to accept the tax.”