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Posted June 1, 2012

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GVCA President comments on the creation of the College of Trades

Cambridge - On the creation of the College of Trades, and how it will impact the industry. It is my opinion that decisions on ratios and compulsory certification should be done by the MTCU, and not the College of Trades. Promotion of trades is good, increasing skills and accessibility to training for young people is good, however, it appears that the way the College of Trades is going, it is a run-away train.

The College will have the power to certify, train and control construction labour in Ontario. They will limit the number of young people entering higher paid trades such as electrical.

With a Board that is not balanced with representation (the majority of Board members are from the unionized sector), I fear that the construction unions will be in control of all construction labour in Ontario, much like the Province of Quebec.

This will lead to increased construction costs, a burden on employees and employers through the skilled trade tax that will be imposed without any input from the industry. The operating budget is as yet undetermined, but real accountability is essential.

Compulsory certification will require definitions of scope of work, and that could be a difficult messy process. I am not against compulsory certification as I believe that some trades such as structural should definitely be compulsory such mechanical trades, electrical, hoisting engineer and ICI (not residential) sheet metal worker.

If the College does go ahead with compulsory certification of trades such as painting, drywalling and carpentry, what happens to a firm that has been in business for 20 years -- the men and women who learned their trade from their Dad -- but is not Red Seal Certified? They wont even be able to hire themselves!

We need provisions for grandfathering in these non-compulsory trades.

The College of Trades isn't just for construction, this is for all trades. Can you imagine the huge impact on a lot of small businesses, which of course are the backbone of the economy in Ontario?

In my opinion this is being shoved down our throats.

We really do need to act on this. If you are interested in finding out more about how you can speak up for yourself, then please download the attached letter ( created by OGCA) and send it off to your local MPP.

Don't let this one get away on you. It will have a long term impact on your business. For an update on on what's happening at the Ontario College of Trades (OCoT) click here.

Sincerely,

Martha George, GSC

President, GVCA

mgeorge@gvca.org

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