So Long Ontario College of Trades

Doug Ford’s plan to axe the Ontario College of Trades, despite the focus of some major media outlets, is being met with approval and appreciation by many businesses and trades associations.

“The PWU appreciates the proposed changes to the Ontario College of Trade, which has been costly for workers in the skilled trades. The Ontario College of Trade has been a source of unnecessary complexity for workers and employers; winding down this system and changing how skilled trades are regulated in Ontario is a necessary modernization.” the Powerworkers Union said in a press release yesterday.

Changes made in the Making Ontario Open for Business act will see the elimination of the Ontario College of Trades, a regulating body that oversees skilled trades and apprenticeships across the province.

Lindsay Haley, President of Precision Contracting in Brockville, Ontario told Canadian Contractor in a recent interview, “The Liberal government had done nothing but put handcuffs on many small businesses, resulting in a total lack of growth and opportunity.  The 1:1 apprenticeship to journeyman ratio is a huge help, both for creating jobs for graduates and to provide an increase in production. It increases the chances for young apprentices to work in their field of choice.”

Ex-PC party leader Tim Hudak shared similar views back in 2012 when in an interview to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce he said that the OCOT should be abolished and that it would cost Ontarian’s jobs and investments. Hudak proposed the same 1:1 journeyman/apprentice ratio at that time.

While speaking at the Ontario Economic Summit in Niagara-on-the-lake on Friday, Doug Ford said, “The days of Liberal and NDP politicians killing jobs and crippling businesses, they are over, they are done.” He added, “And the days of outdated ratios limiting skilled trade jobs, they’re over, too.”