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Dean Review Consultation Questions

Written submission to Dean review

Submission number: DR-26

Name of organisation making submission: DR-26 Carpenters' District Council of Ontario, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America

Responses to questions in submission form


Section A - The Public Interest in this Review

1. What do you understand by public interest?

In this context, the public interest is ensuring and promoting the overall welfare and wellbeing of the province as a whole, industry, the workers and the general public as consumers (be it financial, physical, social, economic, psychological, spiritual or health. The College of Trades role in promoting and protecting the public interest consists of the promotion of professionalism within trades. It does so by regulating, promoting and maintaining standards and training for the skilled trades, while implementing processes to ensure the public is safe from physical and financial harm. The Carpenters District Council was very supportive of the creation of the College of Trades, and continues to be supportive of its role. We understand the need for trades, and specifically our trade, to have a body which recognizes the crucial role which trades play in Ontario’s economy and where our members’ skills and abilities can be regulated and monitored by an independent third party to ensure the highest levels of consumer protection for Ontarians. Most importantly we are excited that there is a body that ensures trades are being professionalized; with each person having the same high levels of training and qualification so that their overall abilities as tradespersons are recognized as more than simply the regular performance of certain tasks.


2. Who should the College serve? Who is “the public” in the public interest and what groups make up the public?

The college should be serving Ontarians but in particular the College must be serving four groups: • Workers who practice a trade; • Unions and other organizations that represent some of these workers; • Companies that employ or engage the workers and their employer associations; and • Consumers who purchase the goods and services produced by tradespersons. The College should be serving workers by ensuring consistent standards for training and certification, while ensuring that education and training are delivered in a manner to help them excel in every facet of their trade. Broadly, the College's oversight of training should help ensure that skilled tradespeople become highly skilled and trained, and they don’t become pigeon-holed and ultimately too deskilled to make a decent living. The College should also be ensuring that there are processes in place to keep workers safe while they are at work, by ensuring the worker and those they work with have the necessary training to perform their work safely. The College should be serving unions and other comparable organizations with certification programs to ensure every member maintains the highest standards of professionalism because the membership can only be as strong as its weakest link. The College should be serving private companies by ensuring there are enough skilled workers available to be hired/utilized, that the workers are skilled to do the jobs they are hired to do and that an enhanced open registry of qualified tradespeople is created to make sourcing properly trained talent easier. Finally, the College, should be serving “the public” — defined as anyone who hires, employs or uses the services of a tradesperson and anyone who lives or does business in proximity to the work the tradespeople are doing — by providing peace-of-mind that work will be done correctly and safely, and is not putting their families, homes and finances in harm’s way. An enhanced open, publicly accessible registry would help to achieve this goal.


3. How should the College make decisions in the public interest where different segments of the public may have opposing interests?

We believe that transparency, accessibility and representation are the keys to making decisions in the public interest where situations of opposing interests arise, and to ensure that decision makers are representative of the people and trades they are speaking for through the College. We believe that the College’s current approach reflects these characteristics. Transparency should encompass both the way in which a panel is convened (ie: members of the panel and how they were chosen) and detailed proceedings of the discussions (ie: the exact language the panel is considering, the final vote and the dissenting opinion). Accessibility means ensuring that anyone residing in Ontario can have their voice heard by the College, whether that means being able to attend a meeting or reaching out via phone, email or social media. This is critical for two reasons. First, it enhances the credibility of the College and tells the public that it has nothing to hide. Secondly, and more importantly, it makes itself open to a cross-section of viewpoints, demonstrating the notion that good ideas can come from anywhere. The commitment to representation should mean that the decision making process is representative of the groups and organizations directly served by the College. This approach is evident in the current membership of the College’s Board of Directors, Divisional Boards and Trade Boards. We maintain that this approach is correct and should be encouraged to ensure that the College is an expert body, We believe that a renewed commitment to transparency and accessibility will foster healthier and more productive dialogue between parties, and ultimately lead to faster and better decisions. For all this to work, and for the College to be able to make decisions in the public interest, it must ultimately be accountable to two parties: the Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities, and its direct stakeholders. Firstly, the College must be accountable to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities for the pursuit of its mandate within the broad policy framework articulated by the Ontario Government. For example, regulations proposed by the College should have to be approved by the Ontario Cabinet. Secondly, the College has an obligation to answer to its stakeholders through the publishing of timely information about the College’s activities and decisions on its web site. This is an area in which the College can improve, and that improvement will drive enhanced trust in the College by all stakeholders.


4. Is the College currently protecting the public interest?

While the College is doing its best with the resources it has, we do not believe it is doing everything it could be doing to protect the public interest, when compared to other Colleges with similar mandates (eg: the College of Physicians and Surgeons or the College of Teachers). Much of this can be attributed to growing pains – the College of Trades has a complex mandate and must manage numerous trades/industries/stakeholders with differing interests and viewpoints. With respect to Carpentry, we believe the public can only be protected if the public interest becomes the central focus of the College of Trades. Mike Holmes sums up the need for the College perfectly: "I spend a lot of my time wading through the messes left behind by guys who didn’t care, weren’t skilled or just ripped off homeowners on purpose. The licensing system for the industry has to get better. It’s just too easy to pick up a hammer and call yourself a carpenter. We can start to turn around the slow death of the craftsmanship in this country to a point where skilled, responsible and honest trades people are the norm, and not the exception." To improve the way the College protects the public interest, we recommend: - Compulsory certification for trades where there is a serious risk that consumers might be taken advantage of or poorly served. This will guarantee and deliver craftspeople that have the necessary training, expertise, capacity and knowledge. - A transparent public registry where individuals and employers can see the names of certified tradespeople, along with their training and disciplinary history. - A publicly available set of standards that everyone can read and expect of any tradesperson they hire.


5. How should the College advance the public interest?

As mentioned above, the College can advance the public interest by instituting compulsory certification programs that ensure tradespeople can correctly do what they say they can do and do it safely. This will protect the health and safety of tradespersons and the general public. Another way the College can advance the public interest is by developing a skilled trades’ work force that supports sustainable economic development in the industry through enhanced productivity and mobility. This also ensures that the consumers of the goods and service provided by tradespersons receive value for money and the highest level of consumer protection and customer service. An added benefit of these kinds of programs is the honour and respect they would bring to the trades as a profession. As Mr. Holmes correctly pointed out, it’s too easy for someone to pick up a hammer and call him/herself a carpenter, or pick up a wrench and call him/herself a marine engine technician. We believe that when people put in the effort to achieve a designation, it creates a pride of accomplishment that carries over into their work. But most importantly, the College can best serve the public interest by making sure young people entering the trades are being properly trained by being properly apprenticed with qualified professionals. This will lead to a stronger workforce moving forward, and build long-lasting trust between the public and the trades.





Section B - Issues Related to Scopes of Practice (SoPs)

6. What impact do SoPs in regulation have on your daily work activities or on the way you conduct business? What aspects of an SoP are important to the work of your trade? Please explain.

SoPs are extremely important to the Carpenters’ Union in that they express the work our members do and provide guiding principles with respect to the three SoPs our members are directly involved in: Drywall, Acoustic and Lathing Applicator; Floor Covering Installer; and General Carpenter. All three of these SoPs are written in general terms. For example, the SoP for General Carpenters found in section 15 of O. Reg. 275/11 has only nine listings with respect to the work of this trade. Accordingly, the SoPs for the trades our Union encompasses can only impact the daily work activities, or the manner in which the Union conducts its business, in a similarly general way. That said, the SoPs comprehensively, although in very broad strokes, describe what members of the Carpenters’ Union are expected to do on construction sites across this province. Further, the SoPs provide the guiding principles with respect to the areas of training our members must receive over the course of their apprenticeships.


7. Do you agree with the suggestion that trades may have core elements as well as peripheral elements?

The Carpenters’ Union agrees that it is theoretically possible to categorize certain work/tasks which the members of particular trades perform as being either core or peripheral; however, without an understanding of the context in which tasks are being performed, the core/peripheral distinction is of limited value. We believe that a more useful distinction is whether tasks are exclusive or shared, but again, the context in which tasks are performed is important. For example, the installation of drywall boards can be characterized as being core work of drywallers, as such work (a) is generally performed exclusively by workers in this particular trade, (b) involves the skills and abilities which drywallers are trained to perform, (c) is essential to the end product (notably, the construction of interior walls) which such workers are engaged to deliver, and (d) can have critical consequences if done incorrectly. Conversely, the clean-up of scrap material resulting from the installation of drywall boards, work which is also regularly done by persons in the drywall trade, can be seen as peripheral as such work (a) is sometimes done by others and (b) does not require training, and (c) is not generally essential to the end product. However, it is the Carpenters’ Union view that this core/peripheral distinction is not particularly useful with respect to most of the work/tasks performed by our members. Rather, it is more useful to divide tasks on the basis of whether they are exclusive or shared. The installation of brackets is a simple, but clear, example of this. Carpenters regularly install brackets and fixtures to the walls and ceilings of buildings. Such work forms part of the training carpenters receive as part of their apprenticeships. In certain circumstances, ensuring correct installation is critical to the safety of the both the public and the trades’ workforce (the customer and the tradesperson), as well as to the correct functioning of whatever the brackets hold. Accordingly, the installation of brackets/fixtures is very clearly core work for the trade of general carpenter. However, other trades also regularly install brackets. Plumbers install brackets to support plumbing fixtures and electricians can install brackets to carry electrical conduit or to support electrical equipment. Therefore, while bracket installation cannot be characterized as being exclusive to the carpentry trade, and only found in the SoP for a general carpenter, such work is nevertheless critical and the members of all trades who perform bracket installations should be trained to do it correctly. Moreover, the distinction between core and peripheral work is of limited assistance given that whether a particular task is critical (core), or less significant (peripheral) varies significantly depending upon the specific context in which it is performed. For example, one work function carpenters consistently perform is the installation of doors and hardware related to doors. Generally, the work functions, and therefore the skill and training required, do not vary significantly depending upon the particular types of doors to be installed. However, the consequences of a job done incorrectly vary significantly. If a closet door/hardware is incorrectly installed, such that it does not open or close correctly, it may be an eyesore or an inconvenience. Conversely, if a fire door/hardware is incorrectly installed, such that it does not open and close correctly, the consequences may be catastrophic.


8. What should be the key elements of an SoP? In particular, should the SoP for a trade list all of the tasks, activities or functions in which an apprentice should be trained, only those that are unique to the trade, or only those that may pose a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople or other workers on the job? Please explain.

In determining what elements should be contained within the SoPs, the key roles of the College itself — including, promoting the professionalization of trades and attempting to standardize training for tradespeople — should be kept in mind. In this way, the true value of the trades to our province (economically, socially, educationally, etc.) can be recognized and enhanced, and we can move towards guaranteeing that people within any particular trade have the necessary competence (because of their training) to perform all of the work of their trade. As such, if the SoPs are to fully promote the ultimate goals of the College, then it is both logical and appropriate for those SoPs to be written in such a way that they fully, if somewhat generally, describe all of the various tasks, activities, or functions in which an apprentice, within a particular trade, should be trained. As the examples noted in the response to question #7 illustrate, many tasks are shared between trades but are nevertheless critical in that they must be performed correctly to avoid dangers to the public/workforce and/or the delivery of non-functioning end products. Accordingly, it would make little sense to simply set out in the SoPs tasks and activities unique to a trade since to do so would exclude so many tasks that, while not exclusive, are nevertheless critical. Furthermore, given the huge variance in the contexts in which tasks may be performed, it would also amount to little short of an exercise in futility to decide whether a particular task may pose a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople, or other workers on the job. In this respect, the installation of doors, set out above, is merely one of any number of examples where context is everything. Another simple example of such variance because of context is the installation of railings. Railings can be purely decorative, can support non-critical items such as curtains, or can be critical in that they protect people from falling. Accordingly, if SoPs are to be effective and meaningful to the overall aims of the College, the only appropriate approach is to have them fully describe all the tasks, activities and functions in which a tradesperson should be trained.


9. How should a review or change in SoP be carried out?

The Carpenters’ Union believes that the current SoP’s for Drywall, Acoustic and Lathing Applicator; Floor Covering Installer; and General Carpenter are generally sufficient and do not require substantial change at this time. We believe that a review or change to a SoP should be done in stages, and should relate to major or general aspects of SoPs as opposed to very specific matters that can vary constantly depending on such things as the development and use of new techniques, materials and equipment. From a practical standpoint, it makes sense for any such review orchange to begin at the Trade Boards’ Division level of the College with a request from a particular stakeholder or by the Trade Board itself. In the case of a stakeholder request, the Trade Board should consider the review or change, and if it believes the request to be significant, it should make a recommendation concerning a review or change of the SoP to the appropriate Divisional Board, as it would with reviews or changes that originated with the Trade Board. Assuming the Divisional Board agrees with the Trade Board, the College should begin a formal and standardized process concerning the review or change, including a request for submissions from affected parties. We believe the requests for review or change should be submitted in writing to ensure that (a) the submitter takes the time to think through their argument and (b) the Trade Board has clear statements they can refer to in their deliberations. A Divisional Board, or any subcommittee appointed to review submissions by the Divisional Board, could hold in-person hearings if required. Once the Divisional Board makes a recommendation concerning the review or change of the SoPs to the Board of Governors of the College, they should be submitted to the Minster of Training, Colleges, and Universities, who will approve a regulatory change, assuming the Minister is in agreement with the recommendation. While the process set out above may seem somewhat cumbersome, we believe that any review or change process for SoPs should be governed by a standardized process and fairly strict and reasonably short time limits. The establishment of a standard process and enforcement of such time limits will ensure as little confusion and disruption as possible. Particular interest groups should not be in a position to hijack the College and its roles and functions through interminable reviews of the SoP’s. In addition, short and strict time limits and scope would ensure that SoP reviews or changes are only undertaken on a limited basis, and that interest groups are not tempted to seek such reviews and changes for large numbers of minor concerns.


10. Can or should the existing SoP provisions support the College’s diverse functions (e.g., apprenticeship training, enforcement, classification reviews)? Please explain.

As noted above, the SoPs describe the basic parameters of trades and the tasks performed by the members of such trades in very general terms. Obviously then, the SoPs as they are currently written, have a role to play in the training, enforcement, and classification review functions of the College. However, given the general wording of such SoPs, the role SoPs play with respect to all three of the College’s functions must be seen as very much of a starting point. To properly fulfill all three of these functions, the College must look deeper than the general, generic, and in many cases, overlapping, language of the SoPs.


11. Should the entire SoP for a compulsory trade be enforceable or be subject to enforcement? Please explain.

The SoPs for trades in the construction sector are set out in O.Reg. 275/11. The SoPs therein are written in very general terms, even with respect to the existing compulsory trades. For example, the SoP for the trade of electrician (found at section 11(1) of the Regulation), one of the current compulsory trades, contains only seven, broadly written subsections for the work of this trade. Accordingly, if the SoPs are to have any value at all, it is our view that the entire SoPs for the compulsory trades must be enforceable. However, what must be kept in mind with respect to enforcement is that the SoPs are framed in general terms. As such, in determining exactly how to enforce (the entirety of) any particular SoP, it is, and will be, necessary to look beyond the SoPs themselves to determine if particular work or tasks are exclusive to a specific trade or are properly shared between a number of trades.


12. Could the College benefit from a distinct list of compulsory activities that may pose a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople or other workers on the job? Please explain.

When it comes to possible risk of harm, certainty is generally a good thing. Therefore, the simple answer to this question is the College, and indeed the general public and the construction industry as a whole, could benefit from a distinct list of compulsory activities that may pose a risk of harm. The real problem is, however, how practically speaking such a list or lists could be drawn up, and if so to what extent could it/they be relied upon. The risks inherent with respect to certain work functions are so self-evident that their inclusion on a list would serve little purpose. For example, very few people would dispute that there is a significant risk of harm if persons other than electricians are making electrical connections. However, with respect to other tasks, and as already noted, assessing the risk of harm is a matter of context. Given how much context can vary, as we discussed in our responses to question #7 and #8, it is our view that the creation of a list is likely to be of very limited value. For example, driving a nail or a screw into a wall is something carpenters and lay people do all the time. Whether such a simple and common activity poses a risk of harm cannot be determined in the abstract because assessing the risk of harm involves knowing such things as the type of nail/screw being used; the tools being used; the materials into which the nail/screw is being driven; the nail/screw’s function; and what is on the other side of the wall. The activity may be completely safe, or may result in a deadly electric shock or significant flood if, for example, the nail is driven into an electrical wire or a water pipe on the other side of the wall. Therefore, while a list of potentially harmful activities may be of some use, no list can account for context and the utility of any list be limited.


13. What is your understanding of what an overlap between SoPs is?

As noted in our responses above, overlap between SoPs involves work or specific tasks common to more than one trade. Some overlaps are direct, in the sense that the work or tasks involved are described in the same, or almost the same, words in multiple SoPs. Some overlaps are not as obvious as different words describe the same tasks across multiple SoPs.


14. Do overlaps between SoPs in regulation have an impact on your daily work or on the way you conduct business? Please explain.

For the most part, the overlaps in SoPs do not have a direct impact on the day-to-day activities of the Carpenters’ Union or our members. This is because the overlaps in the SoPs reflect, rather than determine, overlaps in work jurisdiction/assignments on job sites. Accordingly, the overlaps described in SoPs are simply symptomatic of overlapping work jurisdictions that all trades, and the trade unions which represent those trades, deal with on a regular basis.


15. Does the application of the third legal interpretation principle on overlapping SoPs pose a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople, or other workers on the job? Please explain. If so, what can and should be done about it?

When properly applied, we do not believe that the third legal interpretation principle on overlapping SoPs poses a risk. The work of various trades on construction sites/projects can never be completely divided into self-contained packages. There will always be a degree of overlap between different trades, given that the tradespeople are working together on a job site, to produce an overall structure or system that combines all of their various work into a single whole (i.e., a building). Therefore, where the tradespeople’s work meets up, there will always be overlap and as such it will always be necessary to take account of the practical implications of such overlaps in the way that the third legal interpretation principle currently does. That said, there can be a risk to the public and to tradespeople if this principle is too loosely applied and workers move beyond performing overlapping work and into work they’re not qualified/trained to perform. Accordingly, common sense combined with diligent enforcement is required to ensure that exclusive and overlapping areas of work are properly defined and assigned on job sites. The College should monitor job sites to ensure that those working within a specific trade have the required certificates of qualification/apprenticeship registration from the College to be working within that trade. However, such monitoring should not become de facto determinations of jurisdictional issues which should be dealt with at the Labour Board.





Section C - Classification or Reclassification of Trades as Compulsory or Voluntary

16. What makes a compulsory trade compulsory and what makes a voluntary trade voluntary?

A compulsory trade is a professional occupation that cannot be done by just anybody, for compensation, on a whim. It is the result of comprehensive training leading to recognized certification. Professionals in compulsory trades should not only be at the pinnacle of technical competence but should also adhere to the highest possible standards in their work and in their relationships with employers, customers and fellow workers. The College is given the responsibility of advancing the public interest by deciding which trades should be compulsory and therefore subject to a stricter regime of certification and enforcement, and which trades should be voluntary. The demand to reclassify the status of a trade from voluntary to compulsory arises when the affected stakeholders (including members of the College’s boards) recognize the need for greater professionalization and where it is in the best interest of the public. We contend that the College has made and should continue to make the decision to increase the professional nature of trades through a shift to mandatory status for certain trades. This decision will always be in response to the changing priorities and values of the general public. A better educated populace with greater access to information will increasingly demand higher-quality work, higher health and safety standards, and better consumer protection. And further, the fast pace and technical sophistication of a globalized economy requires workers who can be certified as competent in all aspects of their trade, who work productively, and who are mobile, both in terms of their skill set and geography. These types of values are ones that are characteristic of occupations that are developed on a professional basis.


17. Is the current classification of trades as either compulsory or voluntary aligned with the College’s duty to serve and protect the public interest?

Yes it is. But it can be improved. If we restrict our comments to the field of construction only, we are glad to live in a jurisdiction where the electrical systems of new hospitals or new houses are installed by a worker who has been trained systematically and certified to be competent. However, we do not understand why general carpentry does not have mandatory status. The work carpenters do – building load bearing walls and putting roofs on houses to use two common activities – is no less critical to the functioning and safety of industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential structures than what is done by other trades. We fail to see why some are considered mandatory while ours is not. To take this comparison a step further, we ask why a worker who uses scissors to cut a person’s hair has to be fully trained and certified and the carpenter, who erects and works off of a scaffold many stories high and ensures your home is structurally sound, does not? Whether it is a hospital or a private residence, these are major investments. In making such investments, Ontarians must be able to count on professional work, delivered by highly trained and highly competent tradespeople. As things stand today, they can’t – owners are running the risk of poorly trained individuals calling themselves carpenters and putting the integrity of the building and health and safety of its owners and residents at risk.


18. Is it reasonable to assume that there may be elements in the SoP for a trade that are inherently hazardous or that may pose a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople, or other workers on the job?

Yes. For all trades in the construction industry, there are elements within the various SoPs which are inherently hazardous and/or pose a risk to the public. The critical question is how much of the work within a given trade poses such hazards and/or risks and to what extent. With respect to carpenters’ work, there are varying degrees of hazards that pose a risk for both workers and others. It is crucial to understand that while some elements pose great financial risk to the end user if not performed correctly, others pose physical harm to the tradesperson or those in proximity to the work being done. Having said that, with proper training and mandatory certification, many of those risks will be eliminated or minimized, leading to better health and safety outcomes for tradespeople and those who work with them on construction sites, and better long term financial outcomes for consumers.


19. Could compulsory certification be limited to either the core elements of a trade or those tasks, activities, or functions that may pose a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople or other workers on the job? What kind of impact would these approaches have on your daily work or on the way you conduct business?

In our view, hiving off certain work elements from a SoP is potentially harmful to both the worker and the public as discussed in some detail above, in that it will inevitably lead to trade fragmentation. Trade fragmentation limits both the skill set and mobility (technical and geographic) of the worker, thereby reducing her or his career potential and ability to contribute productively to Ontario’s economy. But most importantly it devalues a trade and the idea that trades should be professionalized, the reason for the creation of the College of Trades. For example, if residential low rise framing is a voluntary element of the SoP for general carpentry and all other elements are mandatory, a worker who elects the narrower path of framing houses cannot transition to other carpentry work when there is no longer such a need for framing. This form of restricted mobility is especially troublesome in most parts of Ontario outside of the GTA. In those areas, the available work does not lend itself to specializing in one element of the SoP and a carpenter must be able to perform all aspects of the trade if they are to be regularly employed. Another possible problem of too many work elements being deemed non-mandatory is that it increases the likelihood that an uncertified worker will misrepresent his or her capabilities, which can pose a threat to consumers and the public interest. Finally, all trades are, by definition, made up of a series of interrelated tasks and functions. To try and separate core and peripheral tasks runs the risk of devaluing the interrelatedness of such tasks and thereby poses significant problems for both training and productivity.


20. Should the College continue to rely on an adjudicative review panel approach (i.e., the Ontario Labour Relations Board model) or should a different model be considered? Please explain.

Given the disparate groups and interests involved, along with the serious consequences which may come about depending upon the outcomes, we believe that virtually every classification review will inevitably be perceived as being political, to a greater or lesser degree. As such, it is crucial that the review process itself be seen as neutral and without any stake in the specific outcome of any particular review. Otherwise there is a significant risk that interest groups and stakeholders will come to believe that reviews have predetermined outcomes. Should such beliefs become prevalent they would obviously undermine general support for the College and its overall goals. Given the above noted concern with respect to protecting the integrity of the process (both in actual terms and in terms of perception), we believe that the College should continue to rely on an adjudicative review panel approach. While there may be certain disadvantages with this approach, it offers the great strength of systemic integrity such that everyone in the community and the broader public can have faith in the neutrality of the process and therefore overall faith in the College as an institution. Essentially, with the adjudicative review panel approach, it is for the party who wants a change to the classification of a particular trade to persuade the review panel of its case. Within this context, it may certainly be advisable for the College to add greater structure to the review process by establishing some overall directions as to what specific questions must be addressed, along with what type of evidence should be presented, by the party or parties seeking a change in classification. However, nothing in any procedures or processes which may ultimately be put in place should undermine the basic principle that if the case for change is not made, then the status quo remains. In this way, the specific groups involved, along with the general public, are assured that any changes that come about have been considered and determined to be necessary, given that the review panel is neutral. The alternative, giving the review panel (or whatever other decision-making body might replace such panels) a more active role would jeopardize the appearance of neutrality and objectivity of the decision-maker. If that were the case, the College could become (or, at the very least, could be seen as being) the judge, jury and prosecutor in any hearings concerning changes to the status of trades. As noted above, this could in turn lead the College to becoming significantly politicized and would undermine its status as an independent, neutral and objective institution.


21. How should expert opinion be obtained?

The College, and its processes, oversee a vast variety of trades and industries. Given this, it is somewhat problematic to put forward suggested changes which assume a one size fits all approach for classification reviews. Nevertheless it is certainly possible to envisage the establishment of specific rules and directions concerning expert opinion which might streamline and formalize the classification review process. As stated above, it is for the party or parties seeking to change the status of a trade to prove the case for change. Therefore, it could be beneficial for the College to require a far more detailed initial request, including an outline of evidence and expert opinion, in support of any requested change. Similar requirements could be put in place for responses to such requests, particularly with respect to those on behalf of parties that oppose the request. If this were to be done, the specific areas in dispute would be far more readily identifiable at the very outset of the process and parties would obviously be in a much better position to identify what further evidence, including what further expert opinion, might be required as the review process continues. Further, the requirement for more detailed/expert opinion oriented initial submissions would allow the review panels of the College (dealing with any particular requests for a change in status) to direct the parties to specific areas and issues on which they wish to hear evidence and/or receive expert opinion, having reviewed the initial filings. In this way the review panels would be in a much better position to ensure that all areas/issues they considered to be relevant are addressed without becoming an active party within the review process itself (which could lead to the perception of a lack of impartiality on the part of the panels, as discussed above). If the initial request procedures are to be altered, however, and much more detailed pleadings are to be required at first instance, then corresponding measures must be put in place to ensure that the various Trade Boards have the necessary resources (financial and otherwise) to actually make such requests. Further, fairly firm time limits would have to be put in place concerning the various stages of review procedures to make sure they are actually completed within a reasonable period of time. To do otherwise is to run the risk of effectively freezing the current classifications of all trades by making review requests too complex to initiate and/or too long and expensive to actually complete.


22. Are the current criteria for trade classification reviews set out in O. Reg. 458/11 consistent with the public interest? Please explain.

We have stated earlier that the public interest is served through a process that considers and makes decisions based on the changing social and economic values that underpin the collective wellbeing of Ontario’s residents. The Carpenters’ Union believes that the current criteria for trade classification reflect those values, from environmental protection to economic productivity.


23. Are the criteria specific, clear and measurable enough to inform you of what data and evidence are needed to meet those criteria?

In our experience, it is possible to marshal sufficient evidence and data needed. The Carpenters’ Union and its signatory employers, through their associations, routinely collect or are capable of collecting the required data. As well, data can be sourced by government agencies such as Statistics Canada. But it should be noted that data collected by government agencies have limitations in terms of methodology, and data retained by our union and employer associations are characterized by gaps and time lags.


24. Are the existing criteria the right criteria?

Yes, the seven criteria are comprehensive and aligned with social and economic values that the majority of Ontario’s residents regard as important. In broad strokes, we see the criteria addressing the impacts on the: • Nature of the work in the trade (criterion #1); • Health and safety of workers and the public (criterion #2); • Natural environment (criterion #3); • Economy (criterion #4); and • Labour market (criteria #5, #6, and #7). Although some may suggest that the criteria should be more detailed in terms of providing guidance regarding what information and analysis should be presented, we do not agree. We believe that the current level of detail lays down sufficient guidance for how the business case supporting or opposing a trade classification should be made. In fact, the Carpenters’ Union worked on a trade classification paper for the College of Trades prior to this review and we found sufficient and useful data to make our case.





Section D - Decisions of the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB)

25. Do the scopes of practice (SoPs) in regulation reflect the way in which work is actually assigned in your trade or sector?

Yes, the SoPs do reflect the way work is generally assigned. However, as we mentioned in our response to question #6, SoPs are very general and contain significant overlap between the various trades. Therefore, while the ultimate assignment of work might conform to the SoPs, the SoPs themselves (and/or alone) almost never provide a complete answer as to how work should be assigned.


26. Do you agree with the notion that most jurisdictional disputes arise from peripheral elements of the trades? Please explain.

We agree that most jurisdictional disputes do not involve the core work of trades, if core is defined as being the exclusive work of a trade, which is not surprising given that jurisdictional disputes naturally involve competing claims for work. However, this does not automatically mean that jurisdictional disputes usually involve peripheral elements of trades either. Rather, such jurisdictional disputes generally arise where the work of trades intersect (and overlap). For example, as discussed in question #7, the installation of brackets can be considered the essential work of any number of different trades depending upon the materials used and the function of such brackets. Therefore, such installation work can give rise to jurisdictional disputes but none of the trades involved would consider this work to be peripheral to their particular trade. However, outside of the ICI sector of the construction industry, jurisdictional disputes can arise involving the undisputable core elements of trades. This is because, in non-ICI sectors, and particularly in the residential sector of the construction industry in and around the GTA, multiple unions represent workers in multiple trades. Accordingly, in such circumstances, jurisdictional disputes arise in which all parties agree about the particular trade involved but the dispute concerns which union has the best claim to have its members (within the same specific trade) assigned the work. For example, trim carpenters in the Toronto area of the residential sector are represented by Local 27 of the Carpenters’ Union as well as by Local 183 of the Labourers’ Union. In such circumstances, the jurisdictional disputes that arise have nothing to do with the trade jurisdiction, given that the members of both unions are clearly within the same trade (for this example, carpenter). Rather, such disputes involve the other factors the Board looks to in determining the jurisdictional claims of competing unions.


27. What consideration should the College give, if any, to the decisions made by the OLRB in jurisdictional or work assignment disputes under the Labour Relations Act? If the College were to adopt the OLRB's decisions, what impact would that have on your trade and the way you conduct business? Please explain.

The Ontario Labour Relations Board has a great deal of experience in dealing with jurisdictional/work assignment disputes. In determining such disputes, the Board must often decide whether certain work is exclusive to a particular trade or is shared by multiple trades. In so doing, the Board has the clear jurisdiction to interpret, and in practice has always assessed and applied, relevant statutes and regulations, including the current regulations containing SoPs (and their predecessors). Therefore, where the Board has already made a determination that certain work is shared, and can be properly performed by more than one trade, the College should clearly defer to the Board, widely recognized as one of the pre-eminent statutory tribunals in this country, and adopt the Board’s interpretation of the SoPs (concerning whether work is shared or exclusive). To do otherwise would create a nightmare of conflicting rulings that would grind our industry to a halt. In addition, we would also assert that the College, in undertaking its enforcement activities, must vigilantly guard against parties trying to use it to win jurisdiction via the backdoor. Obviously the College should enforce the SoP requirements in the case of compulsory trades but in so doing, it must be conscious of the third legal interpretation principle concerning shared work (as dealt with in Question #15). This will ensure that jurisdiction/work assignment disputes are dealt with by the OLRB, leaving the College to handle matters related to protecting public interest by ensuring proper training.





Section E - General Response and Comments

28. Please provide additional comments below, if any.

The Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario (CDC), United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America is excited to respond to the Dean Review and thanks you for the opportunity to participate. About the CDC The CDC is comprised of 16 affiliated Local Unions of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America across the province. In total, we represent over 24,000 women and men working in 3 trades covered by Ontario’s College of Trades: General Carpenter; Drywall, Acoustic and Lathing Applicator; and, Floor Covering Installer. Within these 3 broad trades the journeymen and apprentices perform a wide range of skilled work, including carpentry, drywall, resilient flooring, framing, concrete formwork, underwater construction, welding, scaffolding, and a long list of other construction-related work. Most of our members receive training through the various training centres owned and operated by local unions across the province. In fact, many non-union members also take specified training in our facilities as well. Our members provide their employers with their skills and commitment to mutual success – qualities that are needed to complete projects on time and on budget. The CDC is the designated employee bargaining agency for carpenters in the ICI sector of the construction industry. As such, it bargains the provincial collective agreement for carpenters in the ICI with the employer bargaining agency. In addition, it concludes various other collective agreements, covering the province, on its own behalf and on behalf of its various local unions. CDC and the College of Trades The CDC has long been a champion of the creation of a body to regulate the skilled trades in Ontario, and when the College was created in 2009, the CDC was excited about the possibilities that would be created by a body that understands the need for training and apprenticeship and their impact on a trade and vocation. The CDC also welcomed the creation of an avenue for the designation of additional compulsory trades, as we see this as a way to provide the public with a new mechanism to ensure consumer protection, safeguard the public interest, and increase the levels of training and professionalization of our trade. The primary reason for the CDC’s initial enthusiasm for the College was that, for the first time in Canada, decision making about the trades was put into the hands of those who were directly affected by those decisions. Like other self-regulating professional bodies, such as the Ontario College of Teachers or Professional Engineers Ontario, the Ontario College of Trades was mandated to serve and protect the public interest in carrying out its legislated objectives and functions. Since the College opened in 2013 it has made progress on its mandate but there is much to be done. As any new organization gets moving, it is incumbent upon its leadership to get the processes right and ensure it is moving forward in an organized and productive manner. The CDC’s Position with Respect to the Dean Review While we have undertaken to answer the questions set out in the review, we also would like to clearly state our position as it relates to this review and the College in general. First and foremost – The CDC and all its affiliated locals support the creation and existence of the College of Trades. We believe the College is needed and must remain a permanent fixture in Ontario. Second – The College of Trades was established to ensure that our province would have an institution responsible for making sure that tradespeople in Ontario had the most comprehensive training and could meet the highest standards of professionalism and skill. Meeting this mandate will help Ontario meet two critical goals: ensuring that we have the most employable skilled-trades workforce in North America, and professionalizing the trades so that we can address the looming skills shortage by attracting more people into apprenticeships in the skilled trades. Third – We believe that it is incumbent on the College to set out a formal and standardized process, including rigid timelines, for establishing a trade as compulsory or voluntary. Compulsory certification for some trades, including ours, will result in numerous positive outcomes, including: • Enhancing the health and safety of workers in the trade; • Enhancing the health and safety of the general public; • Enhancing consumer protection for those who rely upon construction services; • Providing clear benefits to the construction industry and the broader Ontario economy; • Helping to ensure work does not disappear into the underground economy but rather is done by legitimate contractors, with all of the necessary licences and permissions, and; • Facilitating the attraction and retention of apprentices and journeypersons. Any delays in creating that formal process are a clear disadvantage to the province. In order to fulfil its mandate to enhance the trades and protect the public interest, the College needs to publicly commit to realistic timelines for this process to be created. Fourth – We believe jurisdictional issues should continue to be dealt with at the Ontario Labour Relations Board, and the College should solely focus on the enforcement of truly relevant training and certification standards for skilled tradespeople. Fifth – we believe that Scopes of Practice (SoPs) must take into account the key role of the College; that is, promoting the professionalization of trades. SoPs should be written in general terms but fully describe all the tasks, activities, and functions in which a tradesperson must be trained. In addition, the SoPs must recognize that there needs to be some flexibility around the context in which tasks are performed. In this way trades will be comprehensive, rather than fragmented, but common sense interpretation of the SoPs will ensure that common work continues to be performed by multiple trades. Finally a discussion around grandfathering existing workers and how to deal with new immigrants who come to Canada with trade qualifications must take place when the College is evaluating the merit of creating a compulsory trade. We believe that some across the board standards and timing must be set out for grandfathering/foreign qualifications. Conclusion Through this review and subsequent policy decisions, the Government of Ontario and the College of Trades have a rare opportunity to address a significant economic challenge that all advanced economies are struggling with: the current and worsening shortage of skilled tradespeople. In the most recent provincial election, Premier Wynne repeatedly referred to the need to “Build Ontario Up.” This review has the chance to ensure that the people and professions who do just that – in a very literal sense – are treated with the respect that they deserve. Professionalizing the trades will have a number of short- and long-term benefits, including: • Increasing the respect with which tradespeople and careers in the trades are viewed; • Making apprenticeships in the skilled trades an attractive career option for today’s students; • Improving and standardizing the training, health and safety precautions, and workmanship that tradespeople deliver; • Improving the level of consumer protection that is available to individuals, businesses, and institutions that utilize the skilled trades; and, • Helping to grow the economy while significantly reducing the amount of shoddy workmanship and improving health and safety. The other option is to allow the continued ad hoc system of training skilled tradespeople, which limits their economic potential, lessens consumer protection by allowing untrained individuals to represent themselves as members of a trade, and makes it more difficult to recruit students into apprenticeships and the skilled trades. When taken together, these outcomes will make skills shortages more severe, and will have a significant negative impact on the economy. The College of Trades was created to ensure that Ontario has the best trained and most employable skilled trades workforce in the world. The CDC is ready to be a positive and constructive force in the evolution of the College and in the realization of those goals. We appreciate the opportunity to speak to you regarding our submission and are eager to share local experiences concerning training and the College when you visit the eight cities on your Ontario tour, all of which the Carpenters’ have Locals Unions and training centers in. Sincerely, Tony Iannuzzi Executive Secretary Treasurer Carpenters District Council of Ontario United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America