Re: Article “College of Trades a Liberal tax grab,” which appeared on NorthernLife.ca Jan. 28.
I am writing to you today so that I can set the record straight with regards to comments made by Paula Peroni in the Jan. 28 article about the Ontario College of Trades. Let’s look at the facts.
First, the college has made significant progress as a new self-regulatory body mandated to oversee and modernize the skilled trades in Ontario, and protect the public interest. We have reduced skilled trades-related red tape in Ontario.
During our first year, we facilitated the first independent, open and transparent review of all 33 trades subject to journeyperson to apprentice ratios. As a result of this open process — which included significant industry involvement — 14 ratios were reduced. This means that businesses are now less restricted, and able to hire and train more apprentices.
Second, the hairstylist trade was deemed a compulsory trade in 1958, several decades before the college was established in April 2013. Part of the rationale for hairstyling being established as a compulsory trade was the need for clear and consistent health and safety and labour standards for the industry.
And finally, the $120 annual membership fee was set following a comprehensive consultation with industry; it was tradespeople that guided the process that led to that number. Additionally, it is the lowest yearly membership fee of any of the professional regulatory bodies in Ontario.
These fees go towards developing apprenticeship training and curriculum standards, promoting the skilled trades as a first-choice career option for Ontario students, and ensuring that the skilled tradesperson you hire is certified to do the job.
It should also be noted that prior to the college’s inception, the cost of running the skilled trades system was shouldered by the taxpayers of Ontario.
Thank you for allowing me to communicate these facts with your readers and to clear up any misinformation or confusion regarding the Ontario College of Trades.
CEO and registrar,
Ontario College of Trades