Former Conservative cabinet minister appointed CEO of controversial skilled trades regulator
Ontario Construction Report staff writer
Former Conservative cabinet minister David Tsubouchi has been appointed as the new Ontario College of Trades registrar and CEO. He replaced retiring Bob Guthrie on Sept. 9..
“David Tsubouchi brings a unique balance of both public- and private-sector experience, as well as an understanding of how professional self-regulation, rather than direct government control, is better for tradespeople, for industry and for the public,” said OCOT board chair Ron Johnson. “He has the vision and know-how to ensure the College of Trades continues the crucial work our members and stakeholders have begun to ensure Ontario continues to build a workforce capable of meeting our economic needs well into the future.”
Tsubouchi, who served as the Progressive Conservative MPP for Markham from 1995 until 2003, held a number of high-level cabinet posts in the Ontario government under premiers Mike Harris and Ernie Eves. He was Minister of Community and Social Services (1995 to 1996), Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations (1996 to 1999), Solicitor General of Ontario (1999 to 2001), Chair of the Management Board of Cabinet (2001 to 2003) and Minister of Culture (2002 to 2003).
Under his leadership as the Minister of Consumer and Commercial relations, the self-managed organizations Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO), Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) and Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council (OMVIC) were created, providing industry driven organizations that brought more accountability to the public and reduced the size of government. In 2003, Tsubouchi returned to private legal practice as a partner in the law firm Fogler, Rubinoff LLP.
Tsubouchi’s knowledge of legal and regulatory environments, as well as his deep understanding of enforcement, government, business and consumer protection, were deemed an ideal skillset for the OCOT, which officially opened its doors to 300,000 members this April.
One of the College’s key mandates is to strengthen consumer protection, an OCOT news release says. “Among measures to ensure tradespeople in Ontario are skilled, qualified and professional, the College has launched a simple, searchable register that allows consumers and employers to look up the credentials and licensing status of members who work in certified skilled trades,” the announcement said.
“I’m very pleased to be able to offer my expertise and understanding of both business and government to my role in this important position,” said Tsubouchi. “I’m confident that the College and its members will continue to work with our many stakeholders in the interest of all Ontarians, whether they work in the trades or employ them in their homes or businesses. Together, we can continue to pave the way for a bright economic future for the province.”