April 15, 2013
On Apr. 8, the Ontario College of Trades began registering members.

Under the legislation, the College has the mandate and powers to regulate all approved trades in Ontario, and will perform standard regulatory functions such as issuing licenses and certificates of membership, investigation and discipline mechanisms, setting standards for training and certification, conducting research and collecting relevant data to support future apprenticeship and certification policies and removing barriers and increasing access for internationally trained workers.

The government feels that the college as a regulatory body will help modernize Ontario’s apprenticeship and skilled trades system.

The organization will be funded by fees of $100 to $200 for tradespeople and $600 to $700 for employers in the construction, service, manufacturing and industrial trades sectors.

In late March, Brad Duguid, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, stood in the provincial legislature, stating, “The College will protect the people in those fields as well, from the illegal and substandard work found in the underground economy.

“We have a responsibility to protect the public, and a responsibility to protect our skilled tradespeople who are qualified and abide by the law.  

“To those opposed to the creation of a College of Trades, I ask why you would so readily dismiss our responsibility to protect consumers and these important workers?”

Opposition to the idea says the new College of Trades will increase costs. The Ontario Construction Employers Coalition claims the college will drive jobs and opportunities out of Ontario during tough economical times. The coalition says those fees amount to an $84-million annual tax grab to create a “costly and unnecessary bureaucracy.”

Bob Guthrie, CEO of the College, says, “The skilled trades now have their own self-governing regulatory body representing all trades in Ontario. This is a big step. The College will work with members to create training and work standards for the trades.”

Duguid says that the College will help raise awareness of the career opportunities the trades provide. “It will lift up the value and credibility of the trades as an attractive career option.”

Duguid says that not one cent of the registration fees collected by the College of Trades will go to the government.  

Ontario’s skilled tradespeople include dozens of occupations and thousands of workers. The landscaping industry is included in that group.

To view the fee schedule, or more information on the College of Trades, go to www.collegeoftrades.ca/about.