Ontario Construction Report staff writer
Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) initiatives to mandate compulsory certification for non-mandatory trades including general carpentry remain on “pause,” says Zak Paget, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.
“In the platform, we committed to the appointment of a special advisor to examine the classification review process and how the scopes of practice of trades relate to classification review and enforcement,” she said. “We also committed to pausing classification reviews pending the outcomes of special advisory work. Following our platform commitment, classification reviews have now been paused.”
“We are hoping to announce something regarding the special advisor in the near future,” she said.
The classification issue, in part, relates to concerns by several employers and the labourers’ union that compulsory certification will result in scope-of-work disputes, where tasks often performed by labourers or other trades will become the sole preserve of compulsory trade members. This issue may be especially serious for general carpentry, where non-carpenters often handle tasks on job sites that might have some carpentry-related functions as part of their work.
Before the spring election, several employee groups mounted a campaign to have the OCOT abolished, as the carpenters union began the process of seeking compulsory certification classification. However, although the Liberals won a convincing majority, and so the government has remained committed to the OCOT, premier Kathleen Wynn made a campaign commitment to review the scope-of-work challenges presented by the labourers’ union.