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Mechanical Contractors Association opposes Ontario College of Trades

Daily Commercial News

Mechanical Contractors Association of Ontario, which represents contractors employing workers in plumbing, steamfitting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), announced its opposition to the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT), which will represent 157 skilled trades in the construction, industrial, motive power and service sectors.


The Mechanical Contractors Association of Ontario (MCAO) board of directors recently announced its unanimous opposition to the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) .

“They have got it wrong,” said Steve Coleman, MCAO executive vice-president of OCOT’s direction and approach.

OCOT will start enrolling members on Jan. 1, though there has been a growing movement opposing issues like its costs to skilled trades workers and governance structure. It will represent 157 skilled trades in the construction, industrial, motive power and service sectors.

The MCAO says it has long supported the idea of having industry more closely involved in the promotion and setting of training requirements and standards and becoming more arm’s length from government. Though, MCAO said in a recent press release that the industry does not need an expensive entity such as the OCOT to accomplish these goals.

The Ontario Construction Employers Coalition (OCEC) has projected that the college would cost $84 million a year, while OCOT board of directors chair Ron Johnson has said once it is running at full capacity, the annual budget will be around $30 million.

The MCAO called the existing employers and employee organizations in Ontario “extensively knowledgeable” in industry needs, and said they are best suited to address key matters of concern such as apprenticeship ratios and compulsory certification.

“Our vision is to harness this wealth of information — not to create an unwieldy/huge bureaucracy that, without question, will be both a cost burden to our industry/individual workers/taxpayers; and a direct deterrent to growth and investment within the province,” said the MCAO.

Coleman noted that recent media releases from an ever growing list of construction industry organizations that share many of the concerns of MCAO indicate the need for government to immediately halt the further actions and implementation plans of the OCOT.

“The College of Trades will only create another cost for the buyers of construction in addition to those huge costs that they have already incurred through poorly conceived energy policies and other wasteful regulations in Ontario,” said MCAO.

MCAO represents over 300 mechanical contracting firms in Ontario who employ over 12,000 skilled trades people in the plumbing/steamfitting/HVAC sector of the construction industry.


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