News Release: Construction Employers Concerned About Appointments to Ontario College of Trades Boards

Toronto – The recent announcement of the membership of key governance bodies for the Ontario College of Trades is cause for concern to a broad coalition of small, medium, and large construction employers across Ontario.

The coalition is concerned that construction industry representation on the College’s Board of Governors and its Construction Divisional Board is dominated by representatives of compulsory certified trades and individuals who are on record supporting compulsory certification. With its governance structures dominated by proponents of compulsory certification, Ontarians can expect the College will advance an agenda of broad-based compulsory certification for Ontario’s construction trades, which will stifle job creation at a time when our province needs more jobs, not less.

Recent studies show that compulsory trade certification creates barriers to employment and hurts job creation. For example, a report released earlier this year by Cardus, a Canadian think tank, stated that “Expanding compulsory certification to voluntary trades will tend to diminish the potential pool of workers available to employers at any given job site.”[1]

“More and more compulsory certified trades will lead to fewer and fewer construction jobs for Ontarians” said Sean Reid, of the PCA and Co-Spokesperson for the Coalition.  “We’ve got a fragile economic recovery underway in Ontario and these appointments are the latest evidence that the College of Trades is taking Ontario’s economy in the wrong direction.”

As a result of these appointments, the coalition is renewing its call for objectivity, fairness and transparency at the Ontario College of Trades.

“Construction employers across Ontario are working hard to support our economy and create new jobs for trades people. A College of Trades driven by proponents of broad-based compulsory certification will only hurt these efforts,” noted Jason Ottey of RESCON and Coalition Co-Spokesperson. “The onus is now squarely on the College and its leadership to dramatically increase its commitment to open, fair and inclusive engagement with the industry moving forward.”

About the Coalition

The coalition of construction employers calling for the immediate 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

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Contact Information:


Sean Reid

Progressive Contractors Association of Canada

(289) 335 1181


Jason Ottey


(905) 760 7777

[1] Cardus, “Where is the Research: An Uneasy Case for Moving Trades from Voluntary to Compulsory Certification”, 2011, pg. 10