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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Tories Fight 'Trade Tax'

Regional | by Matt Villeneuve  

PC petition aims to stop new fee for the Ontario College of Trades.

Bruce Grey Owen Sound's MPP is adding his name to the province-wide Progressive Conservative campaign to stop new, higher fees for trades people.

Bill Walker was joined by PC MPP for Simcoe North, Garfield Dunlop as he signed the petition on Tuesday at Lewis Motors in Owen Sound's east end.

Walker says the Liberal government is planning to force membership fees -- or what the Tories call a 'Trades Tax' -- on Ontario trades workers and employers this year to fund the Ontario College of Trades.

Walker also tells Bayshore Broadcasting News if you don't pay the compulsory fee the College could "yank" your certificate and put you out of work.

The governing Liberals say the College of Trades is meant to raise the profile of, and promote involvement in skilled trades across the province.

Dunlop, who's the PC Critic for Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Reform, tells us businesses are having a hard time attracting new employees as it is.

He thinks slapping a fee of 120-dollars per year -- up from 60 dollar for three years -- will discourage young people.

Dunlop, a plumber himself, believes there's already enough oversight in the trades.

Huron Bruce Conservative MPP Lisa Thompson has also signed the PC petition.

Once the system is fully implemented, the Ontario College of Trades will cover 157 trades ranging from construction, to industry, to general services.

The Conservatives say it will make practicing a trade more expensive and the average consumer will see costs for hair cuts and car services, among other things, go up.



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