Close to 90% of Organizations Oppose Creation of New Classes of Membership by the Ontario College of Trades

Toronto, May 10, 2012 – A survey of the responses to the March/April 2012 Ontario College of Trades consultation on proposed regulations for membership reveals that 88.1% of the organizations, representing both employers and employees who responded to the consultation, overwhelmingly oppose the creation of the proposed two new classes of membership in the College. 

Despite this overwhelming opposition from the sector to the creation of the two new classes – Voluntary Tradesworker and Compulsory Tradesworker – the College continues to identify these classes as “proposed”, most recently in its consultation process on Membership Fees in the College.

The Ontario Construction Employers Coalition is calling on the Ontario College of Trades to respect the results of its own consultation process and immediately drop its plan to create these two new classes of membership.

“Organizations representing both employers and employees have spoken loud and clear that they do not support the creation of these two classes of membership,” stated Sean Reid, Chair, Ontario Construction Employers Coalition.  “With almost 90% opposition, we expect the College will follow the advice and guidance of both employers and employees with extensive experience working in the skilled trades.”

A total of 42 organizations, representing both employers and employees, responded specifically to the question related to the creation of these two new classes of membership, with the vast majority of responses coming from organizations representing employees across the Ontario. 

In its response, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 894 in Bowmanville stated, “We fail to see how the college, its members or the general public will benefit from the expansion of the classes of membership. The current three classes will adequately suffice for the college’s needs. It seems counterproductive to introduce new classes of membership, especially so since these terms are foreign to the terminology used in the workplace.”

Building on the submission from Local 894, IBEW Local 353 in Toronto noted, “In brief, adding more classes of membership will likely cause confusion and will definitely be an administrative nightmare for the College.”

All responses to the consultation process are posted on the Ontario College of Trades website at

About the Ontario Construction Employers Coalition

The coalition of construction employers calling on the next provincial government to immediately overhaul or abolish the College of Trades includes:

    •    HCAT – Heavy Construction Association of Toronto
    •    Merit Ontario
    •    OEL – Ontario Electrical League
    •    OGCA – Ontario General Contractors Association
    •    ORBA – Ontario Road Builders Association
    •    OSWCA – Ontario Sewer & Watermain Contractors Association
    •    PCA – Progressive Contractors Association of Canada
    •    RESCON – Residential Construction Council of Ontario

Media Contacts:

Sean Reid, Progressive Contractors Association of Canada 
 (289) 335 1181
Karen Renkema, ORBA 
 (905) 507 1107