The Council of Ontario Construction Associations (COCA) is a federation of 30 construction associations which represents 10,000 general contractors and trade contractors that operate in all regions of the province in the industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) segment of the construction industry. Our membership includes construction enterprises of all sizes and that are both unionized and non-union. COCA is the largest, most diverse and most representative voice for the non-residential construction sector in Ontario.
From its inception, the Ontario College of Trades (OCoT) was highly controversial, particularly in the construction industry. Because half of our member associations supported the creation of OCoT and half were opposed, COCA never took a position either in support of or opposed to OCoT. COCA’s role has always been to serve as a watchdog over the activities of OCoT and to keep our members well informed. That being said, many individuals associated with COCA, some supportive and some very strongly opposed to OCoT, chose to seek positions on OCoT’s governance framework, to help shape the province’s skilled trades and apprenticeship system to address the needs of our industry. This participation gave COCA a pretty good window into the workings of OCoT.
As the government has taken steps to disband OCoT and replace it with a modern, effective and efficient skilled trades and apprenticeship system, we are pleased to provide our advice with regard to the issues identified by the Minister Fullerton’s Office as those of greatest interest in the development of the new system.