Dec 12, 2016
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As you know, the Progressive Certified Trades Coalition has been very vocal in its concenr over Schedule 17 of Bill 70 due to potential to erode the value of certification and put both workers and the public at risk.
The Coalition's members have stood in solidarity, letting Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne know where we stand on these troubling amendments to The Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009. On November 30, more than 4,000 journeypersons, union representatives, employers and apprentices rallied at Queen's Park. There have been other demonstrations across the province since then.
I do feel it is important to clarify what has been miscontrued by some about our concerns with Schedule 17. Our actions are not intended in any way to denigrate other unions or trades or to treat this as a battle for juristriction. We have a long and successful history of working together to address juristrictional disputes. We are not looking to take work from anyone, only to protect what is ours and to ensure worker and consumer protection.
Our primary concern is that there amendments will make it easier for unscupulous businesses to hire cheaper, untrained individuals to do work that requires specific skills and qualifications. It strikes at the very core of what we do and the investments we have made in our apprenticeship and training. Every tradesperson should be concerned about the direction of these amendments and the message it is sending.
It is imperative that the government continue to promote and protect the value of certification in both the voluntary and compulsory trades. They should be raising not lowering the standards of our trades.
I believe our goals are the same - we want a safe workplace, we want to stop the underground economy from taking our jobs and we want fair compensation for our work. Schedule 17 threatens to undermine those goals and that is why we are opposed to its implementation.
Sincerely and fraternally
Jim Hogarth, President
Progressive Certified Trades Coalition
Call to Action: Schedule 17 needs to be removed from Bill 70 and sent to committee to allow proper debate and public scrutiny of the impact of these amendments. If passed in its current form, these amendments will increase risks to workers and the public.
Click here to sign the petition
This petition will be delivered to:
Premier of Ontario
ATTENTION ONTARIO CERTIFIED TRADES PROFESSIONALS, EMPLOYERS, APPRENTICES AND PARENTS
The Ontario government has introduced amendments to the Ontario College of Trades and
Apprenticeship Act that it plans to push through the legislature within the next two weeks. These
amendments, buried in a budget bill, will diminish the value of a certi cate of quali cation in a
compulsory trade – such as electrician, steam tter, plumber, sheet metal worker and sprinkler installer.
This may also impact trades in
Trades are designated as compulsory in order to protect workers and the public. Ontario law
stipulates that only licensed professionals or registered apprentices can perform the work of a
compulsory trade. The government’s proposed amendments will allow cheaper, unskilled workers to
do some of this work so that corporations can save money.
WHO SHOULD CARE IF THE AMENDMENTS PASS?
Parents: If your son or daughter is working as an apprentice they could be exposed to unsafe
Employers who hire certified trades: You could lose work to competitors using cheaper,
unskilled labour. Your focus on safety and training will be less valued.
Certified trades professionals: Your ticket (C of Q) that you worked so hard to achieve and
you are rightfully proud of may no longer be of value. And you may be at risk on job sites where
untrained individuals are doing the work you were trained to do.
Apprentices: Your workplace could become much more dangerous and your years of training for
certi cation wasted.
Action: Let Premier Kathleen Wynne or your MPP know that there must be proper debate of these
proposed amendments to ensure we keep Ontario families and workers safe. Email the Premier at email@example.com
BROUGHT TO YOU BY A CONCERNED CERTIFIED TRADES COALITION
PUBLIC AND WORK SAFETY AT RISK WITH NEW GOVERNMENT AMENDMENTS
Electrical deaths expected to rise with latest move by Ontario Liberals
TORONTO, ON (Nov. 22, 2016) ‐ Seventy per cent of electrical‐related deaths
that occur on job sites are due to improper installation procedures yet the
Kathleen Wynne Liberal government is quietly moving ahead with legislative
amendments that will increase the likelihood of more worker deaths and put
the public at risk – all for the benefit of special interest groups that profit from
using cheap and unskilled labour.
“More people will die as a result of these amendments that allow unskilled
workers on job sites to do the work of compulsory trades. For decades it has
been the law that the work of a trade designated as compulsory can only be
done by a certified journeyperson who has gone through extensive training and
practical on‐the‐job experience or by a registered apprentice,“ says Jim
Hogarth, President of the Progressive Certified Trades Coalition (PCTC).
According the Electrical Safety Authority, 49 Ontario workers were killed by
electrocution between 2004 and 2013 and 71 per cent of those deaths were in
non‐electrical trades. In 2013 alone there were 18 electricity deaths. On
average, 1,685 Ontarians visited an emergency room due to electrical injury
each year between 2003 and 2012.
Section 17 – introduced and hidden within Bill 70, an omnibus bill introduced
by Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa on Nov. 16 – will, if passed, allow the
Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) to overturn enforcement actions by the
Ontario College of Trades (the College) the governing body for skilled trades in
“The key role of the OLRB is to settle labour relations disputes between
employers, employers’ organization and trade unions. Its mandate is not to
protect the public nor to ensure a skilled labour force for the future yet it will
now have the ability to overturn decisions by the College which was given that
authority and has the expertise. This has effectively neutered the role of the
official governing body,” says James Barry, Executive Chairman, Membership
Development for the IBEW Construction Council of Ontario.
“This decision appears to be based on influence rather than sound policy or
public protection principles. What message does this send to the thousands of
electricians across the province who have invested in skills training so they can
provide quality work and maintain the highest safety standards,” asks John
Grimshaw, Executive Secretary Treasurer of the IBEW Construction Council of
“Not only does this put the lives of the public and workers at risk but taxpayers
will also be footing the bill when mistakes by untrained individuals need to be
corrected. As employers of electricians, we have been committed to hiring the
best trained professionalsin the country but clearly the government doesn’tsee
that as future for a prosperous Ontario,” says Jeff Koller, Executive Director of
the Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario.
There are currently 22 compulsory trades in Ontario in which a person must
hold a valid Certificate Qualification, or be registered as an apprentice in a given
trade and a member of the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) to work or be
employed in that trade. Certification is compulsory to ensure that anyone
engaged in the practice of trades which pose risks to workers, public safety or
consumer protection, are properly trained and sufficiently competent to
perform work properly and safely. The Certificate of Qualification (CofQ) is the
only demonstrable proof of that training.
Now those trades which include everyone from plumbers who ensure safe
drinking water and sprinkler fitters who are responsible for fire safety will have
their important designation effectively negated by the powers of the OLRB
whose decisions are final. This will impact public protection on a far‐reaching
and damaging scale.
“This bill proposes a peculiar and erratic public policy: that a regulator that
functions under one set of legislative objectives in the public interest be
appealable to an adjudicator that operates under an inconsistent set of
legislative objectives,” says Raj Anand, one of the country’s leading legal
“What prompted this extreme action? Where are all the enforcement actions
in the province of Ontario that were unreasonable? One must ask who profits
from these amendments,” adds Hogarth.
While the government has included a clause that says the OLRB shall consider if
an individual’s actions pose a risk of harm, it issuspect that they are transferring
the assessment of risk of harm from the people who know best – skilled trades
professionals – to a quasi‐judicial body that has never had any mandate or
experience in assessing risk of harm.
“We don’t understand how the government can say on one hand that they want
to build a skilled workforce and then turn around and say you don’t need to be
trained to do complex and potentially dangerous work,” adds Koller.
The PCTC is calling on the government to sever Schedule 17 from Bill 70 and
refer it to a legislative committee where all interested parties, including the
public at large, can fully discuss and understand the impact and make
recommendations. The public needs to ask who is benefiting from these
extreme changes in government policy and who will be hurt as a result?
For more information contact:
Jim Hogarth, President of the Progressive Certified Trades Coaltion