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London and District Construction Association joins employers coalition against Ontario College of Trades

Daily Commercial News

Though the London and District Construction Association (LDCA) publicly opposed the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) in early July, the association has now joined the Ontario Construction Employers Coalition (OCEC) in its campaign to shut down the college.

LONDON, ONT.

Though the London and District Construction Association (LDCA) publicly opposed the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) in early July, the association has now joined the Ontario Construction Employers Coalition (OCEC) in its campaign to shut down the college.

In July, LDCA executive director Derek Smith said LDCA would only join OCEC if directed to do so by the membership.

“The way we see it, the Ontario College of Trades is another layer of bureaucracy that is imposing yet another tax on trades people and employers who already pay licenses and countless other fees to the government,” said Smith in a recent news release.

“It’s a double tax, and we’re going to fight it every step of the way.”

The LDCA has over 500 members from counties such as Bruce, Huron, Perth, Middlesex, Oxford and Elgin.

This brings the number of organizations part of the OCEC campaign to 16. OCEC recently started the website www.stopthetradestax.ca as it ramps up its efforts against OCOT.

“The Ontario College of Trades is a bureaucratic boondoggle, and that’s becoming clear to more and more tradespeople and employers by the minute,” said Sean Reid, OCEC chair.

“Our campaign to stop the College will only keep growing.”

OCOT was legislated by the Liberal government in 2009 and is mandated to attract prospective skilled tradespeople and ensure journeymen are appropriately trained and have sufficient skills to perform their trade.

When fully operational, the College will represent 157 skilled trades and is expected to be the largest regulatory body in North America with between 400,000 and 600,000 members.

In a formal submission to OCOT, the Coalition outlined several concerns, including a lack of transparency and information around the College’s budgetary requirements, future business plans and how the College will be financially accountable to Ontarians.

“The trades tax amounts to an $84 million tax grab that will affect all Ontarians,” said Susan McGovern, OCEC vice-chair.

“It will drive up costs for everything from a haircut to a new roof. We’re encouraging all Ontarians to urge their MPP to stop the tax and shut down the Ontario College of Trades.”

DCN NEWS SERVICES

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