Ontario College of Trades Not Ready for January 1st Launch
Botched ratio reviews latest proof secretive, disorganized College not ready, never will be ready
TORONTO, Sept. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - With just a few short months to go before the Ontario College of Trades starts taxing hard-working tradespeople across Ontario on January 1st, mounting evidence makes it clear the College is not ready to open its doors—underscoring once again that the College of Trades should be shut down and its trades tax should be scrapped.
"The College of Trades is not ready and never will be ready," says Sean Reid, Chair of the Ontario Construction Employers Coalition. "They have no plan. They've kept Ontario tradespeople or business owners in the dark. And opposition to this boondoggle is growing with each passing day. The McGuinty government is adding insult to injury by messing up the implementation of this job killing tax."
The latest evidence the College is not ready to launch is its inability to meet its own deadlines. The College began its apprenticeship ratio reviews in April 2012. Apprenticeship ratios are critically important to job creation in Ontario because they govern the number of apprentices an employer can hire. According to the College's own website, the reviews must be completed within 120 days. The 120 days have passed, yet the College still has not completed these reviews and there is no indication when they will make a decision on this key issue.
"We're mere months away from the College sending out its tax invoices and Ontario tradespeople still have no idea who will have to pay, how much it will cost them or what the money will be used for," said Reid. "We've said from the beginning the Ontario College of Trades lacks transparency and accountability, but this kind of disorganization is maddening for hard-working Ontario tradespeople and business owners."
The College of Trades is opposed by tradespeople, employers, and well-respected industry leaders from across the province. The Ontario Construction Employers Coalition alone represents 4,000 employers and over 100,000 tradespeople who want to see the College of Trades shut down, and that number continues to grow as new members join the Coalition weekly.
The backgrounder accompanying this release outlines the collection of evidence the College is not ready to launch.
For more information on how tradespeople across the province are working to scrap the trades tax and shut down the Ontario College of Trades visit www.stopthetradestax.ca.
About the Ontario Construction Employers Coalition:
The Ontario Construction Employers Coalition was formed in September 2011 by 8 major provincial construction associations. The Coalition has grown to include 17 associations and its members employ more than 100,000 skilled tradespeople across Ontario. The Coalition regularly receives calls from interested individuals, employees and employers in a variety of sectors concerned about the implementation of the College and its job killing tax. To learn more about the Coalition and the Stop The Trades Tax Campaign please visit www.stopthetradedstax.ca.
The Coalition includes:
- Conestoga Heavy Construction Association
- Durham Region Heavy Contractors Association
- Grand Valley Construction Association
- Greater Toronto Sewer & Watermain Contractors Association
- Hamilton & District Heavy Construction Association
- HCAT - Heavy Construction Association of Toronto
- Heavy Construction Association of Regional Niagara
- LDCA - London and District Construction Association
- 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
- OCA - Ottawa Construction Association
- PCA - Progressive Contractors Association of Canada
- RESCON - Residential Construction Council of Ontario
- Sarnia Heavy Construction Association
There is overwhelming evidence the Ontario College of Trades will not be ready for its planned January 1st launch and the College should be scrapped:
They have No Plan
The College has provided no vision, no plan and no direction to advance skilled trades in Ontario. The College takes issue with the Ontario Construction Employer Coalitions' estimate that the trades tax will add up to $84 million, yet the College has yet to provide any detailed information for how much the tax will be, who will have to pay it and what value tradespeople and employers will get for their money.
There is No Accountability
The College is keeping the industry in the dark on who will have to pay and how much they will be required to pay. Budgets are under lock and key. Board meetings are in camera and off limits to stakeholders. Plus, based on participation in the College's consultations to date, three quarters of the College's stakeholders in the Service, Transportation and Manufacturing sectors appear to have had virtually no say in its plans and direction.
They have No Support
Those tradespeople and employers who know about the College are opposing it by the tens of thousands. The Ontario Construction Employers Coalition alone represents nearly 4,000 employers and over 100,000 tradespeople, all of whom have united to fight the College. Further, when consulted, 90 per cent of all labour and employer organizations said the College's job-killing plans are wrong for tradespeople and wrong for Ontario.
It makes No Sense
Ontario is in the midst of a growing labour shortage in the trades. We will need 100,000 new tradespeople over the next 10 years. The College of Trades agenda of a trades taxes, broad-based compulsory certification and high apprenticeship ratios is building barriers to shut workers out of the trades at a time when we sorely need to bring barriers down and grow our industry.
They are missing deadlines
The Ontario College of Trades is already behind in decisions around ratios. Ratio reviews began for the first four trades groups in April 2012. According to the College, the deadline to complete these reviews is 120 days after the panel is formed. The deadline has come and gone with none of the first round of ratio reviews complete.
SOURCE: Ontario Construction Employers CoalitionFor further information:
Jessica Georgakopoulos, Playbook Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sean Reid, Progressive Contractors Association of Canada and Coalition chair, email@example.com