Critics call Ontario College of Trades a tax grab
Critics warn a new Ontario College of Trades will drive up the cost of everything from haircuts and homes to building new roads and schools.
The government says the college, which will open in 2013, will be a regulatory body that will help modernize Ontario's apprenticeship and skilled trades system.
It will be funded by fees of $100 to $200 for tradespeople and $600 to $700 for employers in the construction, service, manufacturing and industrial trades sectors.
A group of construction companies says those fees amount to an $84-million annual tax grab to create what it calls a "costly and unnecessary bureaucracy."
The Ontario Construction Employers Coalition says creating the college will drive jobs and opportunities out of Ontario at a difficult time for the economy.
Conservative critic Garfield Dunlop says most people are unaware of the new college, and he expects a lot of angry reaction when workers start seeing the fees deducted from their paycheques in January.
The government says the College of Trades will gives the industry a greater role in governance, certification and training, and will be responsible for establishing the scope of practice and setting out policies and procedure for the trades.
"The college aims to put skilled trades on a similar footing with teachers, doctors, and nurses, who have their own professional regulatory colleges," the college says on its website.