Ontario Introduces Modern, Workable Regime For Skilled Trades



May 6, 2021

OTTAWA, ON – Think tank Cardus is welcoming the introduction of the Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades Act in OntarioThe Act sets out a new approach to the governance and promotion of trades in the province, jettisoning the negative parts of the former approach and enhancing its positives.

"The Building Opportunities in the Skilled Trades Act maintains and enhances industry participation and trades promotion while keeping things like enforcement and certification matters in the hands of the government, where it belongs,” says Brian Dijkema, a labour policy specialist and vice-president of external affairs at think tank Cardus. “The former system was a chimera that pitted trades and stakeholders against each other, and was a confusing, redundant mess. This new approach will allow industry, labour, and government to work together productively and seamlessly on the development of a 21st century approach to trades."

In 2011, Cardus released a report on Ontario's now defunct College of Trades, which demonstrated that the College would not be effective in solving the very real problems with trades in the province. The report also laid out how the College would increase the financial and regulatory burden on an already troubled sector. After taking office in 2018, the Ontario government promised to "wind down" the College of Trades, citing the massive challenges that the College faced in responsibly managing the skilled trades in the province.

"It was always an impossible institution and it was the right move to shut it down," says Dijkema, the author of the report. "Ontario needed a productive, modernized alternative to trades governance that would address significant challenges that remain in the labour market for trades. Today, the Ontario government introduced legislation that provided that alternative.”


 Daniel Proussalidis
 Cardus – Director of Communications


Cardus is a non-partisan think tank dedicated to clarifying and strengthening, through research and dialogue, the ways in which society's institutions can work together for the common good.