Earlier in September, the Ontario College of Trades appointed Conservative lobyist Walter Pamic to its Board of Governors. Mr. Pamic has repeatedly called to abolish OCOT.
Today, the IBEW joined other members of the Progressive Certified Trades Coalition and the Coalition of Non-Compulsory Construction Trades of Ontario in issuing the following letter.
September 20, 2017
To: The Honourable Kevin Flynn
Minister of Labour
400 University Avenue, 14th Floor
Toronto ON M7A 1T7
To: Mr. Don Gosen, Chair
Ontario College of Trades
655 Bay Street, Suite 600
Toronto, ON M5G 2K4
Dear Messrs. Flynn and Gosen,
Re. Review of Appointment to Board of Governors
We write on behalf of two coalitions that represent hundreds of thousands of compulsory and non-compulsory trades professionals in Ontario, to express our concern about the appointment of Mr. Walter Pamic to the Board of Governors of the Ontario College of Trades and as Chair of its Construction Divisional Board.
Minister, we understand you have the responsibility for naming individuals to the Appointments Council and Mr. Gosen, as Chair of the Board of Governors, you have the right to review and, if necessary, reverse appointments made by the College of Trades Appointment Council. We submit that the appointment of Mr. Pamic should be reviewed and reversed.
He has engaged in conduct unbecoming of a public official that will invite ridicule of the College. He has shown himself to be incapable of working with unions, as demonstrated by his well-publicized support for importing extremist measures like so-called “right-to-work” legislation from the United States.
He is a well-known proponent of abolishing the College itself and its system of trade certification. He has endorsed statements made against the College that have absolutely no basis in fact.
A member of the College’s Board of Governors must be able to work cooperatively with both business and labour. Mr. Pamic has shown on many occasions that he is unable to do so. We are concerned that his appointment will destroy the credibility of the College with responsible industry leaders, government officials, employees and trade unions.
A posting on Mr. Pamic’s Facebook account dated March 26, 2012 speaks for itself:
“I know that I don’t talk to you that much, but over the past few years you have taken away my favorite actor, Patrick Swayze, my favorite Expo, Gary Carter, my favorite actress, Farah Fawcett and my favorite musicians, Whitney Houston and
“I just wanted to let you know that my favorite politician is Dalton McGuinty.
This example is illustrative of others that demonstrate a similar level of public conduct that would bring the College into disrepute. We can supply details of other such incidents on request.
We, including the College, should also be concerned about how thousands of apprentices who are members of the College of Trades could possibly look up to Mr. Pamic as a leader in their field.
We are also concerned about the Appointments Council, which was left without quorum for months, leaving trade boards unable to function due to empty positions. Now that you have filled some of the Appointments Council positions, we are concerned by its inequitable composition, with five management appointees, two employee appointees and two vacancies. Any appointment process should be well documented and transparent to both College members and the public.
On behalf of our two coalitions, we urge the most serious consideration of our concerns and your timely response.
Joseph Maloney James Hogarth
on behalf of the Coalition of Non-Compulsory President
Construction Trades of Ontario Progressive Certified Trades Coalition
cc: Board of Governors, Ontario College of Trades
Board of Governors, Ontario College of Trades Appointment Council
Coalition of Non-Compulsory Construction Trades of Ontario: 1035 Sutton Drive, Burlington, ON L7L 5Z8
Progressive Certified Trades Coalition: 61 International Blvd., Suite 209, Etobicoke, ON M9W 6K4