TORONTO, June 7, 2012 /CNW/ - The Ontario Construction Employers Coalition fears the McGuinty government's newly formed Ontario College of Trades is backing down on its commitment to an open and transparent consultation process.
"We're deeply concerned that the College is keeping Ontarians in the dark," said Sean Reid, Coalition chair. "It's keeping stakeholder feedback from a recently completed consultation on proposed membership fees under tight wraps. We can draw only one conclusion - that there is strong opposition to the fees that conservatively amount to an $84 million tax for thousands of Ontario tradespeople."
The Ontario College of Trades website states, "The College is committed to an open and accountable consultation process." While stakeholder submissions for previous consultations were posted immediately following the submission deadline, the College has notified some industry members that it will post "details" on the consultation "later in the summer." The College has offered no further explanation.
The College of Trades may be less anxious to share the consultation results given that a survey of the responses to the last consultation in April revealed that 88.1% of the organizations, representing both employers and employees, overwhelmingly opposed the College's proposal to create two new classes of membership.
With respect to responses to the latest consultation, the Coalition has written the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities Glen Murray to ask him to reconfirm the commitment to transparency at the College of Trades.
"This whole process was suspect from the start," added Reid. "And this secrecy only confirms it. With another round of consultations beginning as soon as this week, the Ontario government must immediately reconfirm its commitment to transparency if it expects Ontarians to put time and effort into participating in the process."
The deadline for submissions on proposed membership fees was Sunday, June 3, 2012. 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)
In its 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. Some of those concerns are already playing out.
About the Ontario Construction Employers Coalition
Members of the Ontario Construction Employers Coalition employ more than 80,000 skilled tradespeople across Ontario.
The Coalition includes:
● HCAT - Heavy Construction Association of Toronto
● 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
● PCA - Progressive Contractors Association of Canada
● RESCON - Residential Construction Council of Ontario
For further information: