OTTAWA, Oct. 3, 2012 /CNW/ - The Ontario Construction Employers Coalition campaign to urge the McGuinty government to shut down its newly formed Ontario College of Trades gained further momentum today with another association joining the fight. The National Capital Heavy Construction Association (NCHCA), the newest coalition member, is raising concerns that the College will lead Ontario into a disastrous Quebec-style construction industry.
"The way the College of Trades is going, we're headed for stifling Quebec-style regulation," said Marty White, President of the NCHCA, and Chief Estimator at Taggart Construction Limited, the largest infrastructure company of its kind in Eastern Ontario. "More regulation will drive down productivity, raise construction costs, and encourage the underground economy. You only have to read the headlines to see the Quebec model has disaster written all over it."
Quebec economist Pierre Fortin estimates that the Quebec model results in a 10.5 per cent increase in overall building costs, translating 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.
This brings the number of organizations united as part of this campaign against the Ontario College of Trades to 18. 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)
"Ontario is already struggling to attract young people to skilled trades," said Sean Reid, Chair of the Ontario Construction Employers Coalition. "The last thing we need in this province is a Quebec-style construction industry that brings more regulation and more red tape - guaranteed job killers."
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 Ontarians.
"If the Ontario government is truly serious about supporting the construction industry and encouraging careers in skilled trades, it should shut down the College, and scrap the trades tax," added Reid. "If the College gets its way, skilled trades people and employers will be paying an $84 million tax on top of the fees many already pay. That's hardly what I'd call helping Ontario's construction industry."
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 18 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 Regional Heavy Contractors Association
- Grand Valley Construction Association
- Greater Toronto Sewer & Watermain Contractors Association
- Hamilton & District Heavy Construction Association
- HCAT - Heavy Construction Association of Toronto
- National Capital Heavy Construction Association
- 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
SOURCE: Ontario Construction Employers Coalition
For further information:
Danna O'Brien, Playbook Communications. [email protected]
Dale Harley, Executive Advisor, National Capital Heavy Construction Association, [email protected]
Sean Reid, Progressive Contractors Association of Canada and Coalition chair, [email protected]