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Provincial inspectors aren’t checking if electricians are certified

July 21, 2021

Data shows zero Notices of Contravention and zero Provincial Offences Act convictions in the last three years. And it’s not because everyone in the skilled trades magically became certified.

Ford was elected and inspections stopped

A recent article titled, “Ontario stopped enforcing credentials in skilled trades, right after Doug Ford took power” sheds lights on the lack of inspections being done to confirm certification in the skilled trades, including electricians.

Author of the above article, Mike Crawley, reports that since taking office in July 2018, the Ford government has failed to enforce the rules of tradespeople being certified. The Ontario College of Trade (OCOT) is responsible for the inspections, however since Ford’s mandate was to scrap the college, it began winding down and OCOT inspectors began taking on educational roles. Although plans are in place to modernize and streamline the process through a newly announced Crown Agency, Skilled Trades Ontario, the lack of inspections documented over the last three years is alarming.

By the numbers

  • Ontario requires certification in 23 licenced trades, including electricians.
  • From 2015 to 2016 (the last full year of reporting prior to Ford’s election), Crawley sites that OCOT found more than 4,200 infractions related to improper certification of tradespeople.
  • Since June of 2018, there have been zero Notices of Contravention posted on OCOT’s website.
  • Since July of 2018, there have been zero Provincial Offences Act convictions posted on OCOT’s website.

The importance of certification and inspections

Certifications are in place for a reason. First, they ensure individuals receive the proper training and education specific to their trade. Additionally, certifications bring peace of mind to employers and consumers; signifying that the individual has the appropriate knowledge and skill to perform the work safely and properly. We must uphold the integrity of the trade. Identifying those who are neither qualified nor certified via inspection is an important step to ensure this.

As Pat Dillion, Business Manager of the Provincial Building Trades and Construction Council of Ontario, points out: “It’s like having an environmental act with no enforcement. You can’t have a trades qualification act and compulsory licensed trades and not have enforcement.”

Looking towards the future

Recently, the Ford government announced a new Crown Agency, Skilled Trades Ontario, would replace the Ontario College of Trades. Legislation shows that the new agency will continue mandatory certification. Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training, and Skills Development has promised to ensure enforcement. We hope he will deliver on his promise.

Read the article via here: Ontario stopped enforcing credentials in skilled trades, right after Doug Ford took power

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