Today, thousands of skilled trades workers gathered at Queen’s Park to protest against Schedule 17 – hidden in the Liberal Government’s Ombinbus Bill 70 that is currently going through second reading in the legislature. Schedule 17 introduced amendments to the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, buried in a budget bill, will diminish the value of a certificate of qualification in a compulsory trade – such as electrician, steam fitter, plumber, sheet metal worker and sprinkler installer.
This may also impact trades in non-construction sectors.
Trades are designated as compulsory in order to protect workers and the public. Ontario law stipulates that only licensed professionals or registered apprentices can perform the work of a compulsory trade. The government’s proposed amendments will allow cheaper, unskilled workers to do some of this work so that corporations can save money.
Who Should Care if the Amendments Pass?
- Parents: If your son or daughter is working as an apprentice they could be exposed to unsafe
- Employers who hire certifed trades: You could lose work to competitors using cheaper, unskilled labour. Your focus on safety and training will be less valued.
- Certifed trades professionals: Your ticket (C of Q) that you worked so hard to achieve and you are rightfully proud of may no longer be of value. And you may be at risk on job sites where
untrained individuals are doing the work you were trained to do.
- Apprentices: Your workplace could become much more dangerous and your years of training for certifcation wasted.
Let Premier Kathleen Wynne or your MPP know that there must be proper debate of these proposed amendments to ensure we keep Ontario families and workers safe.