Ontario to kill College of Trades, promises reformed skilled trades system
By Patrick Flannery
The PC government of Ontario elected earlier this year has announced it will “wind down” the Ontario College of Trades, set all journeyperson-to-apprentice ratios to one-to-one and put a moratorium on adding new compulsory trade classifications or reclassifying existing classifications. It has also promised an unspecified “replacement model for the regulation of the skilled trades and apprenticeship system” by early 2019.
The announcement was part of the introduction of the proposed Making Ontario Open for Business Act, which would also rescind or freeze some of the measures in the last government’s controversial Bill 148, which added mandatory leave days, redefined contractors and subcontractors and hiked the minimum wage to $15 per hour. It is likely the Act will pass as the Ontario PCs have a large majority in the legislature.
Several Ontario construction associations have issued press releases praising the bill. Angelo Cairo of Stouffville Glass, president of the Ontario Glass and Metal Association, said, “Since our industry is currently not a certified trade, by not keeping the government involved at an administrative level or even via funding I see a drastic recoil in progression for our industry trades. These initiatives cannot be administered through individual associations.”