Ontario tradespeople, including automotive technicians, have not been under scrutiny from the provincial government for the last three years despite fees being collected, according to a CBC report.
There has been no enforcement of the province’s compulsory certification of licensed trades since Doug Ford became premier and his Conservative party went into power in June 2018. Since then, there has been no oversight of whether or not those working in licensed trades have the certifications to actually do so, the public broadcaster noted.
The Ontario College of Trades website shows that the last Notice of Contravention was posted on June 28, 2018. The last Provincial Offences Act conviction was on July 30, 2018, which was issued for an “individual engaging in compulsory trade – without Certificate of Qualification that is not suspended.”
In an interview with CBC, Patrick Dillon, business manager of the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council — made up of labour unions — called out the lack of enforcement.
“You can’t have a trades qualification act and compulsory licensed trades and not have enforcement,” he told CBC.
Lou Trottier is the owner of All About Imports, an auto service and repair shop in Mississauga, Ont. He spoke out about the issue to CBC.
“You as a consumer pay a premium dollar to have your car serviced,” he said. “If you find out it was done by an unqualified, unlicensed person, it kind of leaves a bad taste in your mouth, doesn’t it?”
The Ontario College of Trades was created in 2009. Part of its mandate is to enforce skilled trades certification rules. The Ford government passed legislation in 2018 to begin the shutdown of the college. Ford claimed the college was creating a red tape burden for businesses.
The school still exists, however. It has a notice on its website that it “is winding down as the government takes action to modernize the skilled trades and apprenticeship system.”
Apart from technicians, trades like plumbers, electricians, crane operators and hairstylists fall under the province’s list of groups that require certification.
The fee for certification was initially at $120, but dropped to $60 in 2019. But, as noted, the rules haven’t been enforced, according to the college’s website.
“When you’re paying for something and you’re not getting it, that is just a breach of the contract,” Dillon said.
“I play by the rules. I’m a stickler for rules,” Trottier told CBC. “And I would love everybody to be forced to play by the rules as well.”
As for the government, Ontario Labour Minister Monte McNaughton said inspectors have taken on an educational role in recent years.
“As we move forward this summer, we’ll ensure that the compliance and enforcement regulations are worked through,” CBC quoted him as saying. “I can assure everyone out there working in the trades that we’ll ensure that enforcement is present on job sites.”
The OCOT inspector’s roles changed when the MOL took over. The “education” did not work. I agree with Lou with the fact the enforcement was not carried through is a serious issue.. Auto shops in Ontario know this and as a result there have been many related violations. Why has the MOL been so slow to implement enforcement? The credibility of our trades has been compromised. It will take much longer to crawl out from under this now. I am surprised a non-government third party agency was not considered to run this program.
This is common anywhere. Tint and other items are not legal in NS yet we have hundreds of cars on the rpad daily with tint, no DRLs and on and on. Nobody is doing anything about it.
Ive even seen sales at a dealership send a car out for tint after the tech just pet a brand new MVI on it. Shady business.
The same is in Ontario but that is an entirely different matter. Motor vehicle inspections are governed by a different branch of the government whish also lacks enforcement. These government agencies are too top heavy. They need less administration and more enforcement.
Ford has dropped our dues back to what it was before. We got no service or representation for them back then. The Liberals didn’t help me or anyone else I knew but it cost twice as much.
I look at my dues as payback for a great education and financial assistance while going to college.
we paid every 3 years to renew our licences. The price reflected what we got in return, a piece of paper stating that we had met certain requirements!
OCOT came along, jacked the fees from $60 every 3 years to $120/yr and gave us a similar piece of paper. It was nothing more than a cash cow for a bunch of Liberal insiders and created a whole new bureaucracy that in point of fact did nothing for techs. It has actually lead in part to the existing shortage of experienced techs in the field as I and a number of others chose to retire rather than pay the ransome.
If you aren’t qualified to do the job, market forces will soon put you out of business and no piece of paper will help. I personally have at the start of my career learned as much or more from gifted but unlicensed people as from anyone else. OCOT and their gangsters are unlamented in my book.
As a retired Master Technician, I have only seen one inspector stop by where I use to work. So where are the inspectors. In the small community that we live in i see things that are in need of inspections, but no inspectors are around. People as me and i say call the ministry. What more can i say. Oh one more comment,back yard unlicensed not good.