College of Trades Task Force


The College of Trades Committee is a standing committee of the COCA Board of Directors mandated to monitor the decisions andactivities of the Ontario College of Trades, communicate with theCOCA membership to solicit opinions and to disseminate reliableinformation about the College. The committee will regularly review theapproved position paper on the College and make recommendationsfor amendments to the Board of Directors


On October 23, 2014 the government of Ontario appointed Tony Dean to review key areas of Ontario's skilled trades system that fall within the mandate of the Ontario College of Trades. Specifically, Dean was tasked to consider:

  • Scopes of Practice for trades
  • the classification or reclassification of trades as compulsory or voluntary
  • the review of journeyperson-to-apprentice ratios for trades subject to ratios
  • enforcement, including what consideration, if any, the College should give to the decisions made by the Ontario Labour Relations Board in jurisdictional or work assignment disputes under the Labour Relations Act

On January 20, 2015 representatives of COCA’s College of Trades Task Force met with Dean to discuss his mandate and to learn about the process the former Cabinet Secretary would follow in the course of his work.  Not long after that, Dean published a consultation guide and solicited written input from stakeholders.  COCA’s College of Trades Task Force immediately set to work through a series of teleconferences to develop a complete response. Time was tight but the Task Force worked diligently and was able to complete the work and submit its recommendations before the March 13th deadline. Then on May 11th representatives of the Task Force again met with Dean to go over our advice.

As Dean digested the input from more than 100 written submissions and the feedback from meetings with more than 300 stakeholders and considered the issues under his purview, he signalled his thinking through regular monthly reports on his website.  As a result there were few surprises when his final report was made public on November 20th

Many of Dean’s recommendations were generally aligned with those in COCA’s submission.  For example on the issue of trade classification COCA recommended a process that ensured decisions were made based on research and evidence.  Dean recommended the responsibility for decisions regarding trade classification be made by a panel of independent experts with the authority to call their own evidence and that the key factor to be considered by these panels should be risk of harm.  With regard to determinations on journeypersons to apprentice ratios, COCA again stressed the need for an evidence based approach with the onus on parties seeking to alter the existing ratio to prove it is in the public interest to do so.  Dean was comfortable with the existing process but recommended that clear criteria be established and that review panels should have the ability to call their own evidence

We are grateful for the hard work members of our Construction Lien Act Task Force put into the development of COCA’s submission.  Members are:

  • Denis  Shank – Task Force CHAIR - Sudbury Construction Association
  • Barrie Eon – Architectural Metal and Glass Contractors Association
  • Patrick Ganley –Sherrard-Kuzz LLP
  • Don Gosen – Grand Valley Construction Association
  • Paul Gunning – Acoustical Association of Ontario
  • Roger Hubbard – Reinforcing  Steel Institute of Ontario
  • Don Marks – Ontario Industrial Roofing Contractors Association
  • Eryl Roberts – Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario
  • Sandra Skivsky – Ontario Masonry Contractors Association
  • (Rick Thomas – Sault Ste Marie Construction Association)
  • Gary van Bolderen – Canadian Farm Builders Association
  • Mike Sherrard – Sherrard-Kuzz LLP
  • Erin Kuzz – Sherrard-Kuzz LLP