College calls for increased industry participation
October 30, 2013
At the HRAI Greater Toronto Area meeting on October 30, 2013, chapter chair Dick Thomas invited former chair David Weishuhn to the podium to discuss the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) HEATING & COOLING INCENTIVES (HCI) program. HRAI, on behalf of the Ontario Power Authority (OPA), is offering the one-day mandatory training course to participating contractors of the HCI program.
“As of January 1, 2014, only contractors who have completed the mandatory one-day training on AC Installation Optimization Training will be eligible to participate in the saveONenergy HEATING & COOLING INCENTIVES program,” said Weishuhn. “There is no course scheduled for 2014 and about 50 per cent of contractor members have not been trained.” He strongly urged members to “get at least one person through [the course] before the end of 2013.”
Guest speaker Bob Onyschuk, director, compliance and enforcement division, Ontario College of Trades, provided an overview of the College, its role and progress to date. He pinpointed training as an issue and assured attendees that the College would be modernizing training so tradespeople would be prepared for the technologies they would see in the field.
In terms of driving the College mandate, Onyschuk noted that there are vacant positions on the trade boards. He invited contractors to participate on the boards. “You guys have the power,” said Onyschuk. He also provided an update on the state of enforcement. “The shaking hands and kissing babies is coming to an end,” noted Onyschuk. “You will see us getting more rigorous.”
He reported that three mailings have been sent out regarding membership, an additional two months was given for compliance, and 18,000 letters have gone out for nonpayment. He noted that there are 20 enforcement officers in the field and 22 in training at this point. Of those 38 are tradespersons, according to Onyschuk. Attendees were receptive to the College message, but expressed concerns regarding the professional misconduct level of enforcement, apprentice ratios and the split in regulation with TSSA.
“In addition to cheapening what you do, they are stealing your business,” said Onyschuk as he encouraged attendees to report non-compliant companies and individuals.
For more information on the chapter meetings, contact Kim Stark.