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McNaughton announces panel to recommend replacement for OCOT

Don Wall
McNaughton announces panel to recommend replacement for OCOT

Ontario’s Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton has announced the appointment of five members to a Skilled Trades Panel for a nine-month term. 

The new panel, chaired by construction lawyer Michael Sherrard, the founding member of Sherrard Kuzz LLP, will provide advice and recommendations to the minister on the replacement of the Ontario College of Trades. A statement issued by the ministry after McNaughton’s morning announcement indicated the panel will be asked to come up with a “new approach to providing services, including compliance with compulsory training and certification requirements. 

The panel will also provide guidance on the criteria and process used to make decisions on the classification and training for the trades.” 

The other members are Jason Ottey, director of government relations and communications for the Labourers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 183; Shaun Scott, director of organizational development at Linamar; Melanie Winter, regional human resources director with Cascades for Western and Central Canada; and Melissa Young, executive director of the National Electrical Trade Council. 

The government passed the Modernizing the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Act last year, paving the way for dismantling the Ontario College of Trades 

During his address at the Downtown Toyota premises this morning in Toronto, McNaughton said the system of compulsory and non-compulsory trades in construction would be maintained during the transition.  

Since becoming minister I have heard loud and clear that we need to maintain certain concepts even as we modernize,” he saidTherefore, I am pleased to say we intend to restore the existing compulsory and non-compulsory trade classifications.  

We understand that certain trades operate in unique operating conditions. Some trades of those have considerable health and safety consideration for their workers, such as the electrical trades. As a result, most of the current compulsory trades including those in construction tradeswill be maintained in the transition phase of this process. 

McNaughton also said the government will allocate an additional $75 millionfor a total program budget of $286 million, over the next two years to help apprentices pay for living expenses during their in-class training. 


Watch for more information including additional comments from the minister later today.

Follow the author on Twitter @DonWall_DCN.

Recent Comments (1 comments)

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Benni Image Benni

The Province has shown great disrespect to all Ontario Trades workers when they closed OCOT two years and ten months ago, maybe someone woke up and figured something should be done to encourage employment in the sector.
Monte McNaughton came up with a brilliant plan to clandestinely assign a Lawyer and four corporate administrators that have no hands on trade skills or knowledge to a Trades Skill Panel for Only nine months.

I question why the five member panel positions were not made available to the general public under the Provincial Public Appointments website ?

Why have none of the five members ever worked in the Trades in Ontario, they have zero knowledge of the actual work, safety and education ?

How much are the Per Diem, travel, meals, hotel accomodations being offered per meeting per member ?

Quite frankly the panel is too small to effectively cover the massive amount of work that needs to be done in a short period of time.
There must be sub boards established that can report to the Panel that have actually worked in the Trades Sectors to offer experience
on job sites along with the required education and workplace safety, we Need real Trades worker input.

Ben Stegner
Chair Ontario College of Trades Industrial Electricians Board. ( Retired)
Ontario College of Trades Complaints Committee. (Retired)
CUPE Local 793 Vice President & Trades (Retired)
International Council of Canada Governance Board.
Society of Ontario Adjudicators and Regulations.
Habitat for Humanity Construction Volunteer.


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