Dean Review Consultation Questions

Written submission to Dean review

Submission number: DR-59

Name of organisation making submission: DR-59 Ontario College of Trades Cabinetmaker Trade Board

Responses to questions in submission form

Section A - The Public Interest in this Review

1. What do you understand by public interest?

This is a notion wherein achieving the greatest good for the greatest number of people is sought regardless of the popularity of the decisions or action involved in achieving a beneficial outcome.

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

The College should serve both its members and the public with the understanding that the public includes those who are not members of the College, but who could be affected by the decisions and actions made by the College.

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

The College should use great care and seek to perform thorough due diligence when making decisions which affect the public interest. Not all people will agree on the best roads to take; therefore, being able to demonstrate a thorough, open and inclusive process is important when making decisions. Further, the right decision in a given situation may not always be the popular decision which is why it is important to be able to show the steps of arriving at the right decision. People can be especially emotional when they disagree, but it is the responsibility of the College to hold firm when research shows the validity of the right decision in the public interest.

4. Is the College currently protecting the public interest?

It is the opinion of this trade board that the College is still finding its way and that it has yet to determine how exactly to protect the public interest.

5. How should the College advance the public interest?

As the College develops the way it advances the public interest will also develop. For now it should be crystal clear on it's role and uphold the public interest by demonstrating integrity and leadership - especially in the face of opposition.

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.

This board represents one of the voluntary trades. SoPs in regulation do not appear to play a great role the work of the cabinetmaker.

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


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.

It is the opinion of this board that the training standard and NOA specific to each trade should each list every single task, activity and function as exhaustively as possible to assist in documenting the SoP particular to each trade as well as to assist in the training of apprentices. Having said that, it would also be helpful to have those items which overlap be identified as well as having items divided into core and non-core.

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

Reviews and changes should be carried out with trade specific consultation with interested parties - especially those which would be affected.

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

The board concluded that yes, all functions should be supported, but it needed more information to be able to fully address this question.

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

The board concluded that core elements of a compulsory trade should be subject to enforcement, but that non core elements should likely not, however - what is core and what is peripheral must be determined.

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.

Yes, certainly.

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

Different trades often perform the same tasks. For instance, carpenters and cabinetmakers both build and install stairs and cabinets. Are they the same trade? No, they categorically are not.

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

The board does not believe overlaps currently affect cabinetmakers.

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 board would require more information in order to comment.

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?

It would appear that the division between compulsory and voluntary trades sometimes has to do with tradition, worker safety, as well as with public safety, but it is inconsistent. There does not appear to be any real over riding principal at work.

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?

This is a subject with requires more discussion.

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, certainly.

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?

Speaking specifically to the cabinetmaker trade - the board conducted a very informal survey of cabinetmakers while discussing the possibility of seeking compulsory status for the trade. The discussions which took place during this informal exploration were enlightening and suggested that compulsory certification could be beneficial to both the public interest and to the trade. Many trades engage in inherently dangerous work and licensing is one way to ensure proper training to support safe and thorough improved attitudes and consistent procedures.

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.

The very informal survey this board engaged in illustrated the need for a more formal survey of those working in the trade. This board believes that consulting with trades people themselves, as well as other experts, is a necessary part of making the right decision.

21. How should expert opinion be obtained?

This could depend on which experts are actually required.

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

This board believes that more consultation with a body of full time, professional trades people actively engaged in the trade in question is a necessary part of the review process.

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

This Board found, during its exploration, that the need for specific data was not entirely clear and that data were not readily available for those items which appeared useful to demonstrate.

24. Are the existing criteria the right criteria?

The board felt that the existing criteria did not take into account the "view from the shop floor".

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?

More or less, yes.

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

The board has observed that disputes are more likely to arise among compulsory trades and among those trades which are represented.

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.

It is the board's understanding that the OLRB concerns itself mainly with settling disputes among different trade unions. Trade unions generally receive their mandate from the workers they represent. The College has received its mandate from the Ontario Government and is responsible for defending the public interest. If the College were to defer to the decisions of the OLRB it would, by default, be deferring ultimately to the interests of workers and not necessarily to the public interest. Logically it follows that the College should make its own decisions or risk abandoning its responsibility to uphold the public interest.

Section E - General Response and Comments

28. Please provide additional comments below, if any.

Respondent did not provide a response to this question