RULES REWRITE NAILS WORKERS: CRITIC

RULES REWRITE NAILS WORKERS: CRITIC
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Ottawa Sun Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Sean Mckibbon

A new measure temporarily loosening Quebec’s restrictive construction worker regs doesn’t go nearly far enough, says a vocal critic of the laws.

New rules announced last week let Quebecers use Ontario construction experience to qualify for Quebec competency and apprentice certificates — paperwork necessary to work a trade in the province.

« I have a guy who has proof of his work in the last 15 years, but they still won’t recognize his paperwork, » said Jocelyn Dumais, president of the Association for the Right to Work. 03-13-2002Jocelyn

The problem, he said, is that tradespeople must show they worked 1,500 hours in the industry in Ontario in the past two years.

For an apprentice qualification, at least 750 of the 1,500 hours must have been spent working in the trade they want to apprentice in.

MUST APPLY BY JUNE 2

If they didn’t fall into those pigeonholes from Jan. 1, 2000 to Dec. 31, 2001, they don’t qualify, even if they would have qualified in previous years. All applications must be submitted no later than June 2.

« Also a lot of the guys don’t have their Grade 11, » said Dumais, criticizing another disqualification under the regulation. He also said not enough certificates will be issued to meet demand.

But Michel Gailloux, spokesman for the Quebec Construction Commission, said a survey of workers prior to the regulation being introduced found many should qualify.

Of 1,500 construction workers who showed up at the commission’s office in Hull to apply for the certificates under the new regulation, about 700 were found to have already been eligible under the old rules. He said a grandfather clause will allow people working in the industry before 1984 to duck the requirement for Grade 11.

Still Dumais says he’ll be taking the government to court over applicants who don’t qualify.

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