Dean Review Consultation Questions

Written submission to Dean review

Submission number: DR-60

Name of individual making submission: DR-60 Chris McKaskell

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 whereby the greatest good is sought for the greatest number of people.

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 it's members as well as the public in matters concerning the greatest good as it relates to public interest. The public, to my mind, is a term referring to those people who are not members of the college, but who could be impacted by decisions 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 exercise its best judgement when making decisions which affect the public regardless of whether segments hold opposing views. So long as the goal of achieving the greatest good for the greatest number of people is upheld the College should seek to make decisions unilaterally following it's due diligence with the knowledge that one cannot please all the people all the time.

4. Is the College currently protecting the public interest?

In my humble opinion, when the College was placed in the position of representing only compulsory trades and not all trades the College lost it's ability to fully protect the public interest.

5. How should the College advance the public interest?

By seeking to understand the needs of all trades and working to balance those with the needs of the public. I am not suggesting this is a static possibility, rather, it ought to be a guiding principal. Integrity, consistency, clarity and strong leadership in the face of opposition on the part of the College would all go a long way toward advancing the public 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.

I am in the mildly unique position of being both a cabinetmaker and a carpenter. I see many overlaps between the two trades and can see how those overlaps could potentially cause friction. However, we (my small company) generally make decisions which allow us to avoid difficult situations. Besides, both are voluntary trades so that even non licensed individuals can practice them making the impact of SoPs only truly relevant in the training of apprentices.

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

Yes, although I think it would be a rather time consuming task to fully define these.

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 training standard and NOA should both list every single task, activity and function; however, it would also be helpful to mark these lists so one might see clearly which tasks are shared by other trades. Cleanliness in housekeeping, for instance, is a function which is shared by ALL trades - it relates to safety and to efficiency and it is a discipline which apprentices do not naturally possess and which must be trained. Therefore, cleanliness and the tasks associated with it are required parts of specific trade training as well as being a shared SoP.

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

Carefully and logically, but firmly with consultation and surveys of active trades people.

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

I would need more information to respond.

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

I say this jokingly: I wish electricians and plumbers spent more time cleaning up after themselves on site and if enforcement meant that a cabinetmaker or carpenter were not allowed to clean up after them then I would fully support enforcing the entire SoP. However, it makes no sense to punish one trade for performing a non critical task ordinarily performed by another trade when the greater good is served by everyone working together to get the job done.

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 - not certain this requires further explanation.

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

Different overlaps will occur in different situations - examining carpenters and cabinetmakers, for instance, both install cabinets; or appliance installers who often perform simple electrical work like single circuit branch wiring and plumbing work such as plumbing hook ups, but not complete rough-ins. These are examples of the types of overlaps commonly seen on residential projects. There are many others and I imagine that in a complex commercial project with several unions representing workers from a variety of trades it must be a real challenge.

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

Potentially, but again, we often make decisions and work with others to overcome potential problems. Cooperation with other trades is key.

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?

I believe some overlaps are perfectly acceptable among certified trades people. It could be that a hierarchy of tasks could be established, but so long as the truly unsafe tasks are performed by people certified to perform them the potential risks to public safety are minimized. The question becomes one of how we develop that list and prioritize which people perform the work in question. It has been my experience that well trained trades people are generally pretty good at following rules and directions once they have been established.

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?

The difference between compulsory and voluntary appears to be really quite random. Sometimes it is about tradition, sometimes it is about public and worker safety, sometimes it is about insurance and liability. Personally, I think all trades should be licensed to ensure minimum standards are met with regard to personal and public safety as well as quality standards.

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?

I am not sure that it is.

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?


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?

Yes. I would like to see compulsory certification for cabinetmakers and carpenters as well -- in the very least to help ensure proper attitudes and knowledge of the inherently dangerous aspects of the trades. This, both to help ensure public safety as well as the personal safety of the worker.

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.

It is my understanding that the OLRB model is set up for arbitration and not just review. The function of a review panel sounds quite different. Complaints that I have heard have had to do with the small size of the panel not properly representing the voice of particular trades.

21. How should expert opinion be obtained?

Surveys of trades people reviewed and summarized by a small panel with no conflict of interest issues could be helpful, but this is a big issue requiring steady hands and a thick skin because all trades will have very different views on it. It could be that each sector requires slightly different points of reference.

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

Speaking as a cabinetmaker I find the criteria look very closely at the view from the public perspective, but do not look very much at things from the trade perspective - from the shop floor as it were.

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

I don't feel I have enough information to have a useful opinion.

24. Are the existing criteria the right criteria?

Again, I don't feel I have enough information to have a useful opinion - surely the criteria came from a source knowledgeable of these things?

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?

Not that I have noticed. Again, mine are voluntary trades so anyone can practice them with or without certification.

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

Respondent did not provide a response to this question

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 my understanding that the OLRB concerns itself mainly with resolving disputes among different trade unions. Trade unions receive their mandate from the workers they represent. If the College has received its mandate from the Ontario Government and is responsible to uphold the public interest and if the College were to defer to the decisions of the OLRB it would, by default, also be deferring it's responsibility to 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