OTTAWA, Sept. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - The Ottawa Construction Association, a new
member of the Ontario Construction Employers Coalition campaign to urge
the McGuinty government to shut down the Ontario College of Trades, is
raising concerns about the risk of the College leading to a
Quebec-style construction industry.
"We look at Québec's 100 per cent regulated construction market and
we're deeply concerned about the impacts of increased trade worker and
industry regulation," said OCA Chair Dean Drevniok, President of Frecon
Construction, a mid-sized general contracting firm in Eastern Ontario.
"This is going to cause a significant regulatory burden, decreased
productivity due to strict scope of work definitions, the increased
cost of construction and the increased incentive for work to be
performed in the underground economy."
Québec economist Pierre Fortin estimates that the Québec model results
in a 10.5 per cent increase in overall building costs and this
translates into an annual tab of $3.4 billion and the loss of 52,000
jobs. Simply put, this means taxpayers will pay more for new schools,
roads, homes and condos.
"Ontarians don't want to see a Québec-style construction industry
created here," said Sean Reid, Chair of the Ontario Construction
Employers Coalition. "We want to see innovation and job growth, not
higher costs and crippling regulation."
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
● $50 - $100 for a new class of Tradesworkers (compulsory and voluntary)
"The College's proposed membership fees on employers and trade workers
is an $84 million tax grab," said Drevniok. "The College will be adding
red‐tape when the entire world is trying to eliminate red tape and
streamline the process for getting skilled workers into the industry."
The OCA is joining 17 other organizations across Ontario that have
united against the Ontario College of Trades as the Ontario
Construction Employers Coalition. Earlier this year, the Coalition
launched the website www.stopthetradestax.ca as part of this campaign.
"The OCA feels as strongly as we do that compulsory certification of
trades such as painting and dry walling will mean that companies who
have been in business for years will be forced to shut down," said
Reid. "This will drive valuable people out of skilled trades."
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
"If Ontario truly wants to promote skilled trades, it should shut down
the College, and scrap the trades tax," added Reid. "The College is a
bureaucratic boondoggle that must be stopped."
About the Ontario Construction Employers Coalition
Members of the Ontario Construction Employers Coalition employ over
85,000 skilled tradespeople across Ontario.
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
Ottawa Construction Association
PCA - Progressive Contractors Association of Canada
RESCON - Residential Construction Council of Ontario
Sarnia Heavy Construction Association
SOURCE: Ontario Construction Employers Coalition
For further information:
Danna O'Brien, Playbook Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sean Reid, Progressive Contractors Association of Canada and Coalition Chair, email@example.com