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Dean Review Consultation Questions

Written submission to Dean review

Submission number: DR-64

Name of organisation making submission: DR-64 International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Local 128 - Ontario

Responses to questions in submission form


Section A - The Public Interest in this Review

1. What do you understand by public interest?

Our understanding of public interest is the sincere attempt by governing and/or regulatory bodies to accommodate the various concerns and needs of a population and in order achieve an appropriate balance between social, economic, and environmental concerns. Factors contributing to this balance will include the consideration of health & safety, supply of vital services, financial accountability, transparency, and the public’s general well-being.


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

First and foremost the College should serve the people of Ontario, in addition the College should also consider those residing outside of Ontario who are affected by the decisions of the College. Any group impacted by a decision of the College should be considered to comprise the public.


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

The College should consider the practice of providing an opportunity for opposing views to be articulated by the different segments of the population. Depending on the magnitude and ramifications of a decision, certain decisions could be simply based on recommendations from Trade Boards or when warranted, decisions could be based on the input and evidence submitted to an adjudicative review panel.


4. Is the College currently protecting the public interest?

The College has made steps in protecting the public interest. Unfortunately we cannot consider the College to be “currently” protecting the public interest as at this particular time there is not a mechanism in place for the classification or reclassification of a trade based on input from the public and/or industry.


5. How should the College advance the public interest?

The college should advance the public interest by marketing the College and all of its services to the public in a broader and more conspicuous manner, while promoting a consultative process which allows equal opportunity for input from all to stakeholders, industry partners and those with a vested interest.





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 have limited impact on our daily work activities as our trade is not a compulsory trade in the province of Ontario and as such is not subject to enforcement as certification to practice in the trade is not a requirement. Primarily the SoP for our trade serves to provide a quick and concise explanation of the equipment serviced and constructed by our trade to those who are unfamiliar with our trade and its scope.


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

Our trade has core elements that are performed more frequently and then other elements that potentially could be considered peripheral due to the fact that they are performed on a less frequent basis.


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.

The SoP should contain a list of the equipment serviced and/or constructed. In terms of listing all tasks, activities or functions in which an apprentice should be trained, this is better captured in the Apprenticeship Training Standard and the Curriculum Training Standard. The SoP would cease to accurately reflect the trade being described if it was to only contain the portions of the trade which 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 and would no longer provide a sufficient overview to those who are unfamiliar with the trade. The function of the SoP in a non-compulsory is not to benefit those who intimately know activities of a trade, instead the SoP provides valuable insight to those who have limited understanding of the work performed in a trade. Those who intimately understand the work within a trade have no need to reference the SoP.


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

A review or change in SoP should be carried out through consultation those individuals comprising the College’s Trade Board for the particular trade under review or considering a change in SoP. Once the need for a change has been established through such consultation, the proposed changes should be circulated to each of the other Trade Boards within that sector for comment and consideration.


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

The existing SoP provisions are able to support the College’s function of enforcement. Alone existing SoP provisions do not support apprenticeship training, but in conjunction with Apprenticeship Training Standard and the Curriculum Training Standard the College’s function and role in apprenticeship training is supported.


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

The entire SoP for a compulsory trade should be enforceable as blurring the lines on a trade’s scope will lead to confusion and excessive subjectivity being introduced into the process of enforcement. By ensuring the entire SoP is enforceable this provides for clear interpretation and a sufficiently discernible standard of enforcement.


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.

The College would not benefit (nor would the public 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 as blurring the lines on which portions of a trade’s scope are distinctly compulsory and which portions of scope are “somewhat” compulsory will lead to confusion and excessive subjectivity being introduced into the process of enforcement. By ensuring the entire SoP is equally enforceable this provides for clear interpretation and a sufficiently discernible standard of enforcement.


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

Our understanding is that that an overlap between SoPs exists when the same equipment or work activity is contained in the SoPs for two or more trades.


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

Overlaps between SoPs have a minimal effect on our daily work or on the way in which we conduct business due to the SoP for the Construction Boilermaker being clear and concise.


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?

The application of the third legal interpretation principle on overlapping SoPs absolutely poses a risk of harm to the public, tradespeople, or other workers on the job, due to the fact that when applied it allows anyone to perform work that is contained within the scope of a trade which would otherwise require proof of qualifications to engage in such work. To eliminate this risk of harm posed by the third legal interpretation a requirement could be adopted so that individuals working in a voluntary trade who are engaged in the specific tasks that have been identified as having overlap with a compulsory trade are required to hold a certificate of qualification in their voluntary trade in order to perform those specific overlapping tasks. This would eliminate the risk of harm by ensuring those performing the work were indeed adequately trained and would not necessitate the need for changing existing SoPs.





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 trade which based on the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act is restricted to those holding an applicable certificate of qualification, working as an apprentice in the trade pursuant to an applicable registered training agreement, or those that meet the requirements of the Journeyperson Candidates Class. Whereas a voluntary trade is a trade which is not restricted to those holding an applicable certificate of qualification, working as an apprentice in the trade pursuant to an applicable registered training agreement, or those that meet the requirements of the Journeyperson Candidates Class and therefore may be performed without need of training or qualifications.


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?

Currently there are trades which are classed as voluntary trades that should be classed as compulsory trades and therefore the College is not fully serving or protecting the public interest.


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?

It is 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.


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?

The limiting of compulsory certification 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 would be detrimental to the attraction and retention of skilled trade workers in Ontario. By limiting the number of elements that require certification to perform we are implying to those who may consider entering the trades, that certification really isn’t of importance or necessary. During a time when Ontario is promoting the trades in an attempting to educate the younger generation to the benefits and opportunities found within apprenticeship programs, it would be ill advised to promote a culture to our youth in which the education, training and qualifications found within apprenticeship are not of significance and that there are limited advantages to entering a formal apprenticeship program. If we lower the requirements to practice in any occupation, we know that those entering or engaged in the occupation will also lower their expectations of that occupation.


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.

Yes the College should continue to rely on an adjudicative review panel approach as it allows for all interested parties to present their concerns and be to equally heard. Any other models that are considered should also include a neutral review panel and an equal opportunity afforded to all those wishing to submit position on the matter being reviewed.


21. How should expert opinion be obtained?

Subject matter experts are vital to the College and those opinions can be obtained through a close and up-to-date relationship with stakeholders.


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

The current criteria for trade classification reviews set out in O. Reg. 458/11 are consistent with the public interest, but we would recommend that one additional criteria be added. A criteria should be included that considers the classification of similar trades within Ontario. Shared or similar scopes of work between trades should support the need for compulsory trade status for current voluntary trades which can be identified as having similar scope to those trades which are currently compulsory.


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

The criteria are specific and clear. The measure of the evidence should be if there is need for change and not how great that need is. If we can make an identifiable improvement to the trades and benefit those affected by the trades, does it make any sense to not make such a change because of an inability to quantify or measure the improvement? Large improvements to the public’s interest will come in the form of small and seemingly insignificant moves in a positive direction that build upon each other to realize significant improvements.


24. Are the existing criteria the right criteria?

The existing criteria are the right criteria, however we again would recommend that an additional criteria be added. A criteria should be included that considers the classification of similar trades within Ontario. Shared or similar scopes of work between trades should support the need for compulsory trade status for current voluntary trades which can be identified as having similar scope to those trades which are currently compulsory.





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?

When the SoPs were created, they were created in keeping with the work which our trade had a long and substantiated history of performing. Work which our trade has traditionally performed is subsequently assigned to our trade as new projects commence, so at the time the SoPs were created they did and still do reflect the work had been assigned to our trade.


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

Most jurisdictional disputes arise from work that does not have a long or substantiated history of being performed by any one specific trade and therefore such work is not covered within jurisdictional trade agreements and is also arguable in terms of past practice. If we were to consider such work as peripheral, then we would need to consider all changes in technology as peripheral to any of the trades. The obvious flaw being that as trade technologies advance so do the practices within that trade and those which would have been considered “peripheral” in the past are now considered core elements of specific trades.


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 College should not give any consideration to the decisions made by the OLRB in jurisdictional or work assignment disputes under the Labour Relations Act. The College should continue to ensure that all those who perform work of a compulsory trade are qualified to engage in the work. The College should not have any part in enforcing or upholding decisions made by the ORLB. These are two separate functions and two separate bodies. The College need only enforce the Ontario College of Trades and Apprenticeship Act, 2009. The ORLB determines which trade association will be awarded the work and the College needs to ensure the individuals who comprise the association are appropriately qualified if the work being performed requires compulsory certification. Being a voluntary trade, the way in which we conduct business would not be significantly impacted by the College adopting the ORLB’s decision, however the interest of the public would definitely be compromised.





Section E - General Response and Comments

28. Please provide additional comments below, if any.

Respondent did not provide a response to this question