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Toronto, Ontario -- February 9, 2017 -- The Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) has announced it will hold regional consultations to hear input and feedback from industry stakeholders, members of the public and trade representatives. The consultations are to discuss OCOT’s Compliance and Enforcement Policy, currently in development.

The Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009 (OCTAA) imposes a duty on OCOT to serve and protect the public interest in carrying out its objects and functions.  In particular, one of OCOT’s objectives is to address compliance and enforcement issues, including promoting compliance with the prohibitions against the unauthorized practice of compulsory trades and enforcing them where appropriate.

Tony Dean was appointed by government of Ontario to conduct a one-year review of certain College processes. In his report, Dean made “risk of harm” the foundation of his recommendations regarding three decision-making processes under OCTAA, namely trade classification/reclassification reviews, journeyperson-to-apprentice ratio reviews and OCOT’s compliance and enforcement function.

The concept of “risk” is not new to Ontario’s regulators. The Technical Standards and Safety Authority, the Electrical Safety Authority, and the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council all follow a risk-based approach to compliance and enforcement.

According to recent legislative amendments, OCOT’s Compliance and Enforcement Policy must be developed by the Compliance and Enforcement Committee, formally approved by the Board, delivered to the Minister, and made public by June 6, 2017. The minimum mandatory components of the policy include a description of what constitutes a risk of harm and of how such risks will be accounted for in enforcement, an annual identification of risks that will be the enforcement focus for a compulsory trade for the year and a description of how OCOT will fulfil its duty to consult with other entities, such as government ministries.

OCOT is inviting stakeholder comment on the following questions to inform the Compliance and Enforcement Committee’s work as it makes recommendations to the Board on the policy.

1. Do you believe that risk of harm to the public can be direct (to a member of the public at large or a consumer of skilled trades services) and/or indirect (to things of value to the Ontario public, such as consumer confidence, health and safety, property, the environment, the economy and the trades system as a whole)?

2. What types of criteria should the College use to determine if there is a risk of harm to the individual performing the work, to other workers and/or to the public, and whether such risk of harm should be the subject of enforcement?

3. In your trade and/or in your view, what areas of work are likely to present the most risk of harm and the least risks of harm and why?

4. What should the College consider in determining which risks of harm should be the focus of enforcement for a compulsory trade in any given year?

The Compliance and Enforcement Committee will hold regional consultations in the following cities:

Monday, February 13, 2017

6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Travelodge Hotel Sudbury, 1401 Paris St., Sudbury

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Ottawa, location to be determined

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

London, location to be determined

Thursday, February 23, 2017

9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Ontario College of Trades 655 Bay Street, Suite 600, Toronto

Organizations and individuals who wish to make a formal presentation to the Compliance and Enforcement Committee on Thursday, February 23 must register by sending an email to RSVP@collegeoftrades.ca by Friday, February 17, 2017.


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