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PCA Applauds Ford Government’s “Open For Business” Announcement

The Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA) welcomes the introduction of landmark legislation today that addresses needless regulatory hurdles facing both employers and employees in the construction sector. The ‘Making Ontario Open for Business Act’ immediately opens up opportunities for workers to join the skilled trades and find an apprenticeship. It also ensures thousands of construction tradespeople across Ontario can continue to work without fear of imminent government mandated barriers that would kill jobs and hurt their livelihood.

“This is a great day for Ontario’s skilled workers and employers,” said Sean Reid, Vice President and Regional Director, Ontario, for PCA. “For many years PCA has been a strong advocate of bold action to remove barriers so that far more people can pursue skilled trades careers. We’re pleased the Ford government heard the call of workers and employers across Ontario by taking bold steps that will put thousands to work in skilled trades jobs throughout our industry and will lead to the development of the next generation of our skilled trades workforce.”

As a co-founder and Chair of the Stop the Trades Tax campaign, PCA led the effort to overhaul or abolish the Ontario College of Trades and its related regulatory burdens, which favoured only a few special interest groups, to the detriment of the majority of skilled trades workers and their employers. PCA has been a long-time vocal supporter of reducing journeymen-to-apprentice ratios in order to allow more entrants to the workforce.

PCA member companies had also raised significant concerns about changes to the Employment Standards Act and Labour Relations Act implemented by the previous government, under ‘Bill 148’.

“Although many of the measures in Bill 148 were well-intentioned, they were hastily implemented and poorly designed,” stated Reid. “We welcome the amendments introduced today and look forward to continuing to work with the Ford government to bring forward measures that respect the dignity of every worker, strengthen employer and employee relations, help create more jobs and grow our economy for years to come.”

Quotes from PCA member companies

Several of PCA’s Ontario members, who are small business owners, have already committed to hiring more apprentices as soon as the legislation is enacted.

1:1 Ratios

“We’re delighted the Ontario government is making it possible for us to open our doors to more apprentices,” said Wayne Arthur, owner Arthur Electric in Milton. “We’ll be hiring anywhere from four to six apprentices.”

“We’ll be hiring a minimum of five new employees,” said Gerald McCann, President, Cynergy Mechanical Limited in Etobicoke. “This is an important step in helping young people to get the training they need in the skilled trades.”

“This announcement allows us to hire anywhere from five to eight apprentices,” said Dennis Endrizzi, Controller at Beckett Electrical Inc. in North York. “It’s a win-win for both employers and those trying to get training and experience in the skilled trades.”

“We will be hiring an additional four apprentices ASAP,” said Jim Moyer, Owner and President of Waltec Electrical Services Limited in Bolton. “We’re very pleased the province and our industry are working together to address the skilled trades shortage.”

Trade Classification and Reclassification Moratorium

Our tradespeople work to the highest safety and technical standards across Canada. However, in Ontario our workers and future workers continue to face barriers to building the infrastructure needed for our province’s future. This legislation will ensure we can continue to attract the workforce for tomorrow, while ensuring our current skilled workers can remain in Ontario utilizing their highly technical skill set,” said Denis Gagnon, Chair, North America Construction in Morriston.

“Today’s announcement allows our tradespeople, who work to the highest safety standards, to continue to use their expertise to build infrastructure as they have for many years. Without this legislation, there was a real likelihood that many of our skilled tradespeople would be subject to new regulations and barriers that would have limited their ability to utilize their skills, or perform their jobs. We applaud this legislative initiative that ensures no more additional barriers will be erected for our current and future skilled workforce,” said Scott Taylor, President, McLean Taylor Construction Limited, St. Marys.

“These are welcome changes that are long overdue,” said David Timlock, President, Collaborative Structures Limited in Cambridge. “The fewer the barriers, the greater the opportunity for more people to get their start in the skilled trades.”

About the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA)
PCA is the voice of progressive unionized employers in Canada’s construction industry. PCA member companies are leaders in infrastructure construction across Canada, employing more than 25,000 skilled construction workers who are represented primarily by CLAC. PCA promotes fair and open construction tendering in ALL Ontario municipalities.

For further information, contact:
Danna O’Brien, Danna@obriencommunications.ca 416-500-0699

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