COLLEGE OF TRADES USES TAXPAYERS MONEY TO SELL THE UNSELLABLE
(Queen's Park) - Leaked documents have confirmed that the McGuinty Liberals are spending public money to create the illusion of support for their unwanted trades tax said Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP Jeff Yurek.
The documents - obtained by PC Critic for Training, Colleges, and Universities Garfield Dunlop - outlines how the beleaguered College of Trades is spending an undisclosed amount for an extensive six month long campaign designed to reward consultants for manufacturing "support" and lobbying "influencers."
"This is a gross abuse of public funds," said Yurek. "You can't use public money for partisan promotion - this is public money being used to play politics."
The Trades Tax is being imposed by the special interest dominated Ontario College of Trades. This body was opposed by the PC Caucus since its creation in 2009. At present it is being entirely funded by public money, and has become a drain on the finances of hard-working Ontario taxpayers.
"Once in place, the College will force tradespersons from auto mechanics to hairdressers to pay exorbitant annual certification fees," explained Yurek. "How do we expect our tradespersons and their employers to create jobs when the McGuinty Liberals intend to raise their fees by 600% on April 9, 2013. The more Ontarians learn about the trades tax, the less they like it."
The Ontario College of Trades is not a real "College" like the College of Teachers or the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Those "Colleges" are governed by a democratic vote.
No Ontario tradesperson has ever had a vote to decide who will sit on the College of Trades' governing body. Its governing body has been appointed by the Ontario Liberal Party, and not surprisingly, is dominated by special interests who have financially contributed significant amounts to the Ontario Liberal Party.
"The College of Trades offers no value to tradespersons or the Ontario people," said Yurek. "Not only does the trades tax need to be scrapped so does the College of Trades."
Earlier this year the McGuinty Liberals ran an advertising campaign promoting the College by way of large, coloured glossy pamphlets found in major daily newspapers in Ontario and national newspapers. The last promotional campaign promoting the College cost tax payers an estimated $4-million.
- The College of Trades forces those working in many trades to pay mandatory membership fees every year. This $84 million tax grab will go toward creating and maintaining the College's unnecessary bureaucracy.
- The College intends to exert its control and regulatory authority over all 157 trades in the provinces. These trades range from auto mechanics, to bakers, to hairdressers.
- Fees for actual tradespersons will range from $100 to $200. Fees for employers will range from $600 to $700 per employed tradesperson.
Pierre Fortin, an economist from Quebec where a similar system is in place, estimates such a model results in a 10.5% increase in overall construction costs. This means the taxpayer will pay more for roads, schools, and hospitals