Ontario General Contractors Association

The Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) is to disappear, to be replaced by an organization that will promote the skilled trades.

Last week, Economic Development Minister Jim Wilson announced that the government’s first major red tape reduction action will be to Overhaul Bill 148 and dissolve OCOT. The OGCA, as a member of the Ontario Skilled Trades Alliance (OSTA), has aggressively challenged OCOT since its inception more than seven years ago. The battle was over the direction of an impossible mandate, to both promote and regulate the skilled trades. This has been the main feature of the big picture debate.

From the beginning, OCOT decided to flex their muscles by enforcing mandatory trade requirements and apprentice ratios. Ten trades were in the queue to make the case to expand the list of mandatory trades to include many of the common trades, including carpenters.

OSTA organized 34 employer associations to oppose this direction. It lead to the “Stop the Trades Tax” campaign in 2013 that involved itself in the 2014 election. It galvanized thousands of companies and contractors to object to not only the tax, but the barriers placed on recruitment and hiring, as fewer apprentices were able to move through the system.

In the past four years, the focus has been on working the process to challenge the adoption of more mandatory trades. One trade - the sprinklers - were able to proceed but ten other trades remained waiting for their hearing until today. OGCA, with OSTA, has challenged this agenda at every step.

After seven years of battling many unions and employer associations who advocated greater regulatory restrictions, the new government has responded. OCOT, in direct contradiction to their mandate to promote the trades, acted to restrict access to persons eager to enter the industry and employers in need of skilled workers. 

That is why today the new PC government acted. This includes:

  • Set all journeyperson to apprentice ratios at one-to-one
  • Implement a moratorium on trade classifications and reclassifications
  • Initiate the winding down of the Ontario College of Trades

The legislation will give the government the power to take charge of the board of Directors and appoint an administrator. The commitment is “apprenticeship in Ontario needs to be modernised and transformed to better meet the needs of apprentices, employers, workers and employers.” The government intends to develop a replacement model early in the New Year. 

OGCA fully supports this action and will work with the government to define the services and mandate of a successor organization. The new focus must be to provide leadership to address the skills shortage.

Click here for a "Backgrounder" from the Government of Ontario on Modernizing Ontario's Apprenticeship System. 

On November 5, Premier Doug Ford announced a shuffle to his Cabinet. The move seems to have been triggered by veteran MPP Jim Wilson’s resignation. Wilson, who has served as an MPP in the Simcoe region since 1990, has stepped down as Minister of Economic Development Job Creation and Trade. The OGCA wishes Mr. Wilson a safe and speedy recovery as he seeks treatment for personal issues.

Stepping into Mr. Wilson’s place as Minister of Economic Development Job Creation and Trade will be Todd Smith, who currently serves as Government House Leader. Mr. Smith also serves as the Minister of Government and Consumer Affairs. Bill Walker will be promoted to Cabinet becoming the new Minister of Government and Consumer Affairs.

John Yakabuski and Jeff Yurek will be trading files, with Mr. Yakabuski becoming Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, and Mr. Yurek taking over the role of Transportation Minister. Sylvia Jones will take over the job of Community Safety and Correctional Services Minister from Michael Tibollo, who will become the new Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

In addition to the ministerial shuffles, some caucus positions are also shifting, with Lorne Coe being appointed to Government Caucus Whip and Doug Downey, Deputy Whip. In a statement, the Premier said, "After four months of unprecedented action, we are taking this opportunity to calibrate our cabinet assignments to ensure we continue to deliver on our commitments to the people.” The OGCA looks forward to working with all newly appointed cabinet ministers as we continue to advocate for construction safety and fairness across our industry.

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Industry News

The American Concrete Institute (ACI) announced the winners of the 2018 Excellence in Concrete Construction Awards, who were honored during the Institute’s Concrete Convention & Exposition, October 15, 2018, in Las Vegas, NV, USA.

Click here for details.

The latest issue of the OEL Newsletter is now available. Click here.

The latest issue of the CEO's E-Glance newsletter is now available. Click here.


Rob Ellis, Founder and President, MySafeWork poses with CPO Ron Kelusky.


 The League of Champions (LOC) was honoured to participate in the OGCA Safety Awards Breakfast on Friday, October 26 at Verdi Convention Centre in Mississauga, ON.

Distinguished guests included CPO Ron Kelusky, MPP Gila Martow, and Elizabeth Witmer, Chair of the WSIB Board of Directors. In addition, no health and safety event would be complete without some inspiring words from LOC Steering Committee Chair Craig Lesurf, and Rob Ellis, Founder and President, MySafeWork.

Congratulations to the new LOC Members and Patrons who were recognized!

Aquicon Construction Co. Ltd.
Snyder Construction
ZGemi Inc.

Industry Association Patrons
Carpenters and Allied Trades Local 27
Council of Ontario Construction Associations
Hamilton-Halton Construction Association




Enzo Garritano, President, Infrastructure Health & Safety Association (Industry Association Patron), recognized newer COR™ Certified Members and Patrons for their commitment to continuous health & safety improvement. Each organization received a captain’s ‘C’ crest to be stitched onto their LOC jersey.

Aquicon Construction Co. Ltd
Black & McDonald Limited
Matheson Constructors Limited
Ontario Electrical Construction Company Limited
Peak Engineering & Construction Ltd.

Partner Patron
Crosslinx Transit Solutions Constructors

Thank you to Leadership Patron, Ontario General Contractors Association, all the special guests, and to the LOC membership for another successful event!

Click here to view some of the LOC-related photos on Facebook. 

For more information about the League or to apply to become a Champion, contact Andrea George by phone at 905 671 3969 or email at andrea@theLOC.ca.

We have some exciting opportunities to promote health & safety to high school and college students this month!

In partnership with MySafeWork, the League of Champions (LOC) will be heading to two high schools and two colleges in the coming weeks.

Get ready to field industry questions from the best and the brightest.

To RSVP for any of these events, please contact Andrea George by email at Andrea@theLOC.ca.

George Brown College (this Thursday!)
Date: Thursday, November 8
Location: George Brown, Casa Loma Campus (160 Kendal Ave, Toronto, ON M5R 1M3)
Room: Pre-event Reception – C400; Presentation – E321
Champion arrival time: 2:15 – 2:30 pm
Presentation time: 3:00 – 5:00 pm
Audience: Approximately 200 staff & students

Bendale Business and Technical Institute
Date: Tuesday, November 13
Location: 1555 Midland Ave, Scarborough, ON M1P 3C1
Champion arrival time: 9:30 am
Presentation time: 10:00 am – 12 noon

Yorkdale Secondary School
Date: Monday, November 19
Location: 38 Orfus Rd, North York, ON M6A 1L6; Room 156
Champion arrival time: 10:00 am
Presentation time: 10:35 am – 12 noon

Mohawk College
Date: Wednesday, November 21
Location: Stoney Creek Campus (481 Barton St, Stoney Creek, ON L8E 2L7)
Champion arrival time: 10:30 am (meet & greet)
Presentation time: 11 am – 12 noon
Audience: 300 construction trades and apprentices. The college will be inviting their President, faculty professors and communications department.

Hope to see you soon!


The OGCA's Safety Awards breakfast was held on Friday, October 26. A list of all of the winners can be found here. Congratulations to the Category I, II and III winners as follows:

Category I - Over 200,001 Average Annual Derived Hours Worked (2014-2017) PCL Constructors Canada Inc.
Category II - 100,001 to 200,000 Average Annual Derived Hours Worked (2014-2017) Bennett Mechanical Installations (2001) Ltd.
Category III - Under 100,000 Average Annual Derived Hours Worked (2014-2017) D. Grant Construction Limited

Also, congratulations to those winners of the Over 500,000 hours worked without an LTI:

BDA Inc.
Bestco Construction (2005) Ltd.
Canadian Turner Construction Company Ltd.
M. Sullivan & Son Limited
Al Langman Construction (1998) Inc.
Marant Construction Limited
Pomerleau Inc.
Ross & Anglin Ontario Ltd.
M. Sullivan & Son Limited

and congratulations to PCL Constructors Canada Inc. who won the Over 1 million hours worked as well as the first Over 10 million hours worked without an LTI.

Member News

Indigenous businesses from across the North were recognized for their achievements in business by the Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF) in Timmins on Oct. 18.

Seven awards were bestowed on businesses based in NADF’s service area, which encompasses the areas of Nishnawbe Aski Nation, Robinson-Superior 1850 and Treaty #3.

Established in 2003, Praztek Construction has more than $25 million invested in property and apartment complexes, commercial leasing space and more than 100 residential custom property builds for clients, recently completing 18 residential affordable housing units for the Timmins Native Friendship Centre.

The company is currently undergoing an expansion plan that would see the business expand into the industrial and mining sectors.

Click here to read the article in the Northern Ontario Business newsletter.

Associate Partner News and Events

It has been a year since The New York Times ran its first article outlining allegations against Harvey Weinstein by numerous women in Hollywood. Since then, there have been numerous sexual harassment allegations in the workplace. Canada is not immune.

The #MeToo movement has proven to be a defining development within management liability insurance. Employees are more aware of their rights, more willing to make claims, and Canadian courts are increasingly plaintiff-friendly. Harassment does not have to be intentional to be damaging; Companies can be held liable for seemingly innocent or unintentional mistakes.

Click here for information on how to reduce your exposure.

Pinchin is offering several new courses ...

  • How to Manage Radon in your Buildings
  • Meet & Greet our Experts at the CORK & BEAN
  • Infection Control in Healthcare Facilities

Click here for more information.

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