MPP Garfield Dunlop visits Cornwall during his “Helping Ontarians Enter Skilled Trades” Tour

August 22, 2012

Today, Garfield Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North and PC Critic for Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Reform and Jim McDonell, MPP, Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, held a roundtable discussion to hear concerns related to skilled trades with the Seaway Valley Construction & Trades Association.

Among the issues discussed were the apprenticeship system, compulsory certification, proposed membership fees for tradespeople and employers and the College of Trades.

At a time when Ontario is experiencing a job crisis and a shortage of skilled trades, the McGuinty Liberals continue to put up road blocks, such as the new controversial membership fees soon to be imposed by the College of Trades on hard working tradespeople, and their decision not to change apprenticeship ratios.

In May, Dunlop introduced a Private Members’ Bill, Helping Ontarians Enter Skilled Trades Act, 2012. Currently businesses must employ three or four journeymen to train a single apprentice. Dunlop’s bill would create new apprenticeship jobs by reducing the ratio of journeymen to apprentices to 1-to-1.

MPP Dunlop, who himself is a plumber, has long championed skilled trades. He continues to advocate for reforms to the current skilled trades system to help create more jobs in Ontario.


“The desire to work in the skilled trades is all around us, including right here in Cornwall. Garfield and I will continue to work with stakeholders, and advocate for appropriate changes to our current skilled trades system to remove barriers and help create more jobs in Ontario. These are good paying jobs that would allow our youth to work and raise their families in our community.”
– Jim McDonell, MPP, Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry

“Throughout my tour I have heard concerns about the McGuinty Liberals’ new trades’ tax which will be imposed on the backs of hard working tradespeople rather than taking needed action for job creation. Ontarians are slowly learning that the College of Trades is a huge boondoggle. Not only do these fees need to be scrapped so does the College of Trades.”
– Garfield Dunlop, MPP, Critic for Skilled Trades for Apprenticeship Reform

“We’re very pleased that MPP’s Mr. Dunlop and Mr. McDonell took the time to meet with us to today to hear our concerns. Specifically, we are concerned with the College of Trades’ new membership fees and feel there will be no new benefits that will come from collecting these fees.”
-Normand Robitaille from the Seaway Valley Construction and Trades Association


Ontario Electrical League (OEL) and the OEL’s Seaway Chapter are a member of the Ontario Construction Employers Coalition, which represents over 80, 000 employees.

The Ontario Construction Employers Coalition has launched a grassroots campaign ( to urge the Ontario government to shut down the Ontario College of Trades, and stop the trades’ tax.

The Ontario Ministry of Finance predicts that there will be over one million skilled job vacancies by 2021.

Under Dalton McGuinty’s watch, Ontario is producing 46 per cent fewer skilled tradespeople (per capita) than the rest of Canada.