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Dean Review Consultation Questions

Written submission to Dean review

Submission number: DR-94

Name of organisation making submission: DR-94 Progressive Contractors Association of Canada

Responses to questions in submission form


Section A - The Public Interest in this Review

1. What do you understand by public interest?

Please see the OSTA submission, as we support that submission.


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

Please see the OSTA submission, as we support that submission


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

Please see the OSTA submission, as we support that submission


4. Is the College currently protecting the public interest?

Please see the OSTA submission, as we support that submission


5. How should the College advance the public interest?

Please see the OSTA submission, as we support that submission





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.

Please see the OSTA submission, as we support that submission. Furthermore, our contractor members are signatory to CLAC, a wall-to-wall independent union. Because of the unique position our employers are in, they are able to utilize multi-skilling between trades whenever possible, with no jurisdictional disputes. The current SoP's affect our membership only when preforming compulsory work, and/or when the College utilizes them as an enforcement mechanism with little to no understanding on how a wall-to-wall organized construction site operates.


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

Please see the OSTA submission as we support that submission.


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.

Please see the OSTA submission as we support that submission.


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

Please see the OSTA submission as we support that submission. In addition we believe it is crucial to highlight, that as a matter of high priority, the College should carry out a systematic review of both the Scopes of Practice for all of the construction trades. For the construction trades, there should be a complete moratorium on applications for compulsory status until the Scopes of Practice for all construction trades have been updated. Only after completing a review of the Scopes of Practice for all construction trades will the College be able to take account of the many overlaps that are common in the 21st century construction industry, where flexibility and productivity are drivin by an multi-skilled workforce and which often are not reflected in the current Scopes of Practice. The process for updating Scopes of Practice should be rigorous, inclusive and impartial. It would be a serious error to conduct these reviews on a one-off basis rather than on an all-trades basis. The Review should be informed by evidence and driven by a fully independent organization.


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

Please see the OSTA submission as we support that submission.


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

Please see the OSTA submission as we support that submission.


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.

Please see the OSTA submission as we support that submission


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

Please see the OSTA submission as we support that submission


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

Please see above comments, and the OSTA submission as we support that submission.


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?

Please see the OSTA submission as we support that submission.





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?

Please see the OSTA submission as we support that submission


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?

Please see the OSTA submission as we support that submission.


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?

Please see the OSTA submission as we support that submission.


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?

Please see the OSTA submission as we support that submission.


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.

We do not support an adversarial, traditional labour relations model. It is not appropriate for construction employees or employers, it can be done differently - as it currently is on many jobsites across Ontario. The OSTA submission provides a very thoughtful process and model that should be seriously considered in the effort to provide an, unbiased research driven approach. It is absolutely crucial that this process and model be fully independent of the College. The college has a self-vested interest in expanding compulsory certification in order to increase revenue. This is the largest governance flaw of the College. This model would also provide an unbiased, and research driven process to consider changes to apprenticeship ratios.


21. How should expert opinion be obtained?

Please see the OSTA submission for a full description of the proposed SPRAC model.


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

No, please see further suggestions in the OSTA submission. Both grandfathering current tradespeople, and the effects on their livelihoods must also be considered.


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

No, please see the suggestions in the OSTA submission.


24. Are the existing criteria the right criteria?

No, please see the OSTA submission for further suggestions.





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?

No. As explained above our contractors rely on multi-skilling and a wall to wall job site that encourages flexibility and productivity.


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

No, please see the OSTA submission for further suggestions.


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.

We believe there should be full consideration of moving the inspection and enforcement function of the College to the Ministry of Labour. The business case for this and full details of this proposal can be found in the OSTA submission. There would be greater respect for OLRB decisions by moving the enforcement function to the MOL.





Section E - General Response and Comments

28. Please provide additional comments below, if any.

In summary, PCA agrees with all the OSTA's recommendations and would like to highlight the following: 1. To achieve an outcome that is in the public interest, a new entity (not unlike the HPRAC) must be created with the responsibility for the provision of evidence-based research to support the need, or lack thereof, for heightened regulation of the 156 skilled trades. This entity could allow for holistic considerations, including economic considerations, far beyond the seven criteria currently guiding both the compulsory classification and ratio review processes at the College. Holistic considerations are critical to successfully protecting the public interest. 2. This entity should also provide the independent process, research and rigour to a full review of all the SoP’s and provide appropriate advice to the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. There should a moratorium on any further trade status reviews until a systematic, full review of SoP's takes place. 3. This entity must be independent of OCOT. The entity should provide the Minister with advice following a consultation process in which stakeholders will have had access to relevant research and opportunity to provide submissions. 4. Serious consideration should be given to providing pre-existing Ministry of Labour experienced forces (inspectors) with OCOT enforcement as opposed to creating additional overlapping enforcement mechanisms.