The chair of the Council of Ontario Construction Associations (COCA) is hoping for a position on the board of governors of the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT).
“There are a lot of strong feelings in our industry about the College of Trades. It’s critical that COCA maintain a seat at the table, to ensure our membership is kept well informed and to shape decisions that impact our members from within,” said COCA chair Don Gosen in a statement.
“If we want the College to be something that ultimately benefits the Ontario construction industry then we have to be there, we have to participate.”
Gosen, owner of Gosen Electic Ltd., is looking to fill the vacancy created by the COCA’s first vice-chair Domenic Mattina who will not be applying for re-appointment when his term ends. Like Mattina Mechanical, Gosen Electric is a small, successful, non-union company.
The college has been a divisive issue within the Ontario construction industry with many saying it favours unions and compulsory trades.
“Don’s application was unanimously endorsed by the Board of Directors at the Grand Valley Construction Association (the organization he represents at COCA) and COCA’s College of Trades Committee and was approved by COCA’s Board of Directors,” said COCA president Ian Cunningham.
“We firmly believe that with Don’s long leadership and experience in the construction industry that he is ideally positioned to ensure important issues that are discussed around the College’s Board table are scrutinized fully and subject to robust debate.”
Earlier this year, COCA established itself as the OCOT watchdog and has been lobbying that Section 7 of The Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009 which requires employers to join OCOT must never be proclaimed.
COCA members serve at every level of the college’s governance structure, from the appointments council and the Roster of Adjudicators to the Trade Boards.
The board of governors is a 21-member council with two employee and two employer representatives from each of the four sectors, four members from the general public and one member representing colleges of applied arts and technology.
According to the College of Trades Appointments Council website, there is currently one vacancy for construction employer representative, one for motive power sector employee representative and one vacancy representing the general public.
Gosen expects to receive word on his application status in the coming weeks.