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Part 2: Mutual Recognition of the Qualifications, Skills, Experience and Occupational Health and Safety Training of Construction Workers

  • Issued: June 2006

Background

Ontario and Quebec have very different trade certification and apprenticeship systems.

In Ontario, worker certification in a construction trade is either compulsory or voluntary, as set out in Appendix 1, Table 1. Ontario has also adopted the Inter-provincial Red Seal program, as stipulated in the Agreement on Internal Trade (Chapter 7). Union membership is not a prerequisite to finding employment in Ontario's construction sector although certain sites or projects are deemed to be unionized.

By contrast, in Quebec certification is compulsory in all construction trades. There are also 40 “occupations” in the construction industry, open to semi-skilled labourers. Generally, construction workers in Quebec must belong to a union, but this is usually not the case in the residential renovation sector.

2.1 General Principles

Matched Trades

2.1.1
Ontario and Quebec agree that the trades listed in Appendix 1, Table 1 are matched for the purposes of this agreement.

Certificates Recognized by Both Jurisdictions

2.1.2
Subject to section 2.6, Ontario and Quebec fully recognize the certificates listed in Appendix 2.

2.1.3
Ontario workers holding any of the Ontario certificates listed in Appendix 2 are not required to obtain further certificates of competency when working in Quebec, in the applicable trade listed in Appendix 1, Table 1.

2.1.4
Quebec workers holding any of the Quebec certificates listed in Appendix 2 are not required to obtain further certificates of competency when working in Ontario, in the applicable trade listed in Appendix 1, Table 1.

2.1.5
Ontario workers who are not certified and wish to work in Quebec may present their qualifications and work experience to the appropriate authorities in either Ontario or Quebec and become certified by fulfilling the requirements set by these authorities. Note: Ontario workers must meet the requirements set by Ontario authorities in order to work in their home province.  Ontario workers who fulfill the requirements set by Quebec authorities may only work in Quebec.

Note: Ontario workers must meet the requirements set by Ontario authorities in order to work in their home province. Ontario workers who fulfill the requirements set by Quebec authorities may only work in Quebec.

2.1.6
Quebec workers who are not certified and wish to work in Ontario may present their qualifications and work experience to the appropriate authorities in either Ontario or Quebec and become certified by fulfilling the requirements set by these authorities.

Note: Quebec workers must meet the requirements set by Quebec authorities in order to work in their home province.  Quebec workers who fulfill the requirements set by Ontario authorities may only work in Ontario.

2.1.7
Ontario and Quebec agree that the measures of access being developed for the trades listed in Appendix 1, Tables 2A, 2B and 2C will continue as a priority after the signing of this agreement.      

2.2 Access to Matched Trades for Journeypersons and Apprentices

Access to Quebec

2.2.1
Subject to section 2.6, Quebec will fully recognize, with no further requirements other than those specified in guidance material (section 4.5.1), the following certificates issued to Ontario workers by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) or by another agency of the Ontario government authorized to do so:

  1. Interprovincial Red Seal Certificate or Ontario Certificate of Qualification for any of the trades listed in Appendix 1, Table 1.
  2. Ontario Certificate of Apprenticeship or Provisional Certificate for any of the trades listed in Appendix 1, Table 1 for which certification is voluntary.  For the purpose of working in Quebec, Ontario workers with a Certificate of Apprenticeship will be recognized as journeypersons. Those carrying a Provisional Certificate will be recognized as final stage apprentices.
  3. Ontario Apprentice Identification cards for any of the trades listed in Appendix 1, Table 1.

The Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) will fully recognize the hours of apprenticeship training put in by Ontario apprentices on construction sites in either Ontario or Quebec, to the extent that these hours have been validated by the MTCU, for the purpose of determining the period of apprenticeship that will apply to an Ontario worker in Quebec.

Access to Ontario

2.2.2
Subject to section 2.6, Ontario will fully recognize, with no further requirements other than those specified in guidance material (section 4.5.1), the following certificates issued to Quebec workers by the CCQ or by any other agency of the Quebec government authorized to do so:

  1. Interprovincial Red Seal Certificate, Journeyperson Competency Certificate or Certificate of Qualification for any of the trades listed in Appendix 1, Table 1.
  2. Apprentice Competency Certificate or a Quebec Apprenticeship Booklet or card for any of the trades listed in Appendix 1, Table 1

The MTCU will fully recognize the hours of apprenticeship training put in by Quebec apprentices on construction sites in either Quebec or Ontario, to the extent that these hours have been validated by the CCQ or by the MESS, for the purpose of determining the period of apprenticeship that will apply in Ontario.

2.3 Access to Activities of Trades

Background

Many Ontario workers employed in a construction trade for which certification is voluntary, have acquired extensive skills and experience in their trade without ever obtaining a formal Certificate of Qualification.  In order to achieve effective labour mobility for these workers, Ontario and Quebec have agreed to the process outlined below.  It provides a way for skilled but uncertified workers to have their experience and qualifications evaluated by the MTCU in Ontario; and, to obtain a Trade Activity Card for presentation to the CCQ upon registration to work in Quebec. 

2.3.1 
Subject to section 2.6, Ontario and Quebec agree that an Ontario worker with a Trade Activity Card may work in Quebec on behalf of an Ontario contractor and have full access to the applicable activities of trades listed in Appendix 3, in all sectors of the construction industry in Quebec. 

2.3.2
Ontario workers with no certification in a voluntary trade listed in Appendix 1, Table 1, seeking work in Quebec, must apply to the MTCU for an assessment of their competency to work in any trade activity listed in Appendix 3.

2.3.3
The application for assessment must provide evidence that the applicant’s skills and experience meet the requirements established by the Director of Apprenticeship, to work in a particular trade activity. Satisfactory evidence would include:

  1. completion of the appropriate section of a checklist “Attestation of Competencies” or,
  2. completion of required competencies in the Training Standards book; or,
  3. completion of the number of hours required for the trade activity, if appropriate, as set out in the Trades Qualification and Apprenticeship Act or the Apprenticeship and Certification Act; or,
  4. other forms of evidence acceptable to the MTCU.

2.3.4
The MTCU will evaluate the application and evidence of competency and issue a letter of confirmation to an applicant who meets the requirements to work in a particular trade activity.  

2.3.5
An Ontario worker must present the letter of confirmation from the MTCU to the Jobs Protection Office (JPO) of the Ministry of Labour (MOL), or another designated office of the MOL, in order to receive a Trade Activity Card for the trade activity specified in the letter of confirmation.

2.3.6
An Ontario worker must then present the Trade Activity Card to the CCQ and, as required by law, join one of the representative associations for workers.  

2.3.7
The CCQ will recognize the Trade Activity Card as proof of the worker’s competency to work in a specified trade activity and will issue a card identifying the representative association chosen by the worker.  Ontario workers must carry both cards with them at all times when working in Quebec.

2.3.8      
For the purpose of working in Quebec, an Ontario worker with a Trade Activity Card will be recognized as a journeyperson.

2.4 Requirements to Work in Occupations in Quebec and Trades in Ontario  

Background

In addition to the trades and specialties for which certification is compulsory in Quebec’s construction industry, Quebec also has a set of 40 defined occupations with various training requirements. 

2.4.1  
Appendix 4 lists the occupations that currently exist in Quebec’s construction industry and are regulated by the CCQ.  Also listed, for each occupation are the requirements to work in Quebec and in Ontario.

2.4.2      
In order to work in Quebec, in any of the occupations listed in Appendix 4 for which there are no MESS certification requirements, the CCQ will exempt Ontario workers from having to take the course entitled "Construction, projects, equipment and organization" and of having to hold an Occupation Competency Certificate, if they can provide proof of: 

  • 750 or more hours of work experience in the construction industry; or,
  • one or more hours of work experience in the construction industry plus proof of having completed occupational health and safety training that is equivalent to Quebec’s compulsory course.

2.4.3 
A Quebec worker certified as a Grutier may work in Ontario as a Hoisting Equipment Operator, for hoisting capacity of 0 to 8 tons, with no further certification requirements.

2.5 Specialized Construction Work    

Definition of Specialized Construction Work

2.5.1
Construction work is considered “specialized” if it meets the following criteria:

  • the tasks involved require knowledge and technical expertise on:
    • a specific construction technique; or,
    • the installation of a particular product; or,
    • the construction-related repair or maintenance of a particular product;
  • the knowledge and technical expertise are acquired through  compulsory training offered by the manufacturer of the product, or by a trainer approved by the manufacturer; and,
  • the manufacturer’s warranty is conditional upon installation, repair or maintenance of the product being carried out by a contractor/worker who has successfully completed the manufacturer’s compulsory training program.

Process to Obtain a Specialized Construction Work Card

2.5.2
Ontario and Quebec agree that an Ontario worker may perform specialized construction work in Quebec, if that worker is employed by an Ontario contractor, has a Specialized Construction Work Card and meets the requirements set out in section 2.6.

The Specialized Construction Work Card will specify the nature of the work to be performed. 

Both provinces agree that a Specialized Construction Work Card will not be issued to a worker in cases where the work to be performed forms part of a trade for which certification is compulsory in Ontario. 

2.5.3
Ontario and Quebec agree that an Ontario worker may perform specialised construction work in Quebec without a Specialized Construction Work Card, if the tasks involved form part of either:

  • a trade listed in Appendix 1, Table 1, and the worker holds one of the certificates of qualification listed in Appendix 2; or,
  • an activity of a trade listed in Appendix 3 and the worker has an applicable Trade Activity Card.

If an Ontario worker is certified in a trade, or has a Trade Activity Card, this already provides adequate access to work in Quebec.  A separate Specialized Construction Work Card is not needed. 

2.5.4
An Ontario contractor/worker who wishes to carry out specialized construction work in Quebec must apply to the JPO for a Specialized Construction Work Card.

An Ontario contractor who wishes to carry out specialized construction work in Quebec must satisfy all requirements set out in section 3.1.

2.5.5
The application for a Specialized Construction Work Card must include the following:

  • a description of the type of work to be performed by the applicant(s) and how it meets the criteria of specialized construction work as set out in section 2.5.1;
  • identification of the special competencies and experience required to do the work;
  • proof that the applicant has successfully completed the training program required by the manufacturer; and,
  • documentation that the manufacturer’s warranty is conditional upon installation, repair or maintenance of the product being carried out by a contractor/worker who has successfully completed the manufacturer’s compulsory training program.

2.5.6
The JPO:

  • will evaluate the application and issue a Specialized Construction Work Card to an applicant who meets the requirements to perform such work; and,
  • will promptly transmit copies of the application and supporting information to the CCQ.

2.5.7
The CCQ:

  • will promptly review the application and information received from the JPO;
  • will issue a card identifying the representative association chosen, to an Ontario worker presenting a Specialized Construction Work Card, if it is satisfied that the work to be performed meets the criteria set out in section 2.5.1; or, alternatively,   
  • will promptly contact the JPO to discuss the application, if it is not satisfied that the work to be performed meets the criteria set out in section 2.5.1.

2.5.8
If the JPO and the CCQ cannot agree that the work to be performed meets the criteria set out in section 2.5.1, an Ontario contractor/worker may complain to Ontario’s Official Contact who will follow the dispute resolution process set out in section 6.1.

2.5.9
Ontario contractors/workers must carry both the Specialized Construction Work Card and the card identifying their representative association, referred to in section 2.5.7, at all times.

2.5.10
For the purpose of working in Quebec, an Ontario worker with a Specialized Construction Work Card will be recognized as a journeyperson.

2.5.11
The process outlined above will be implemented for a trial period of one year after the agreement is signed, at which time it will be reviewed by the Bilateral Coordinating Committee. 

2.5.12
A Specialized Construction Work Card and a card identifying a worker’s representative association, issued during the trial period, will be valid until the expiration of the trial period.  After the trial period, both types of cards will have to be renewed annually.

2.6 Mutual Recognition of Occupational Health and Safety Training

2.6.1
Ontario and Quebec recognize that construction workers, in addition to being qualified or certified to work in a particular trade, need training in occupational health and safety.  In Quebec, such training is compulsory--workers must take a course entitled "Santé et sécurité générale sur les chantiers de construction" (Health and Safety on Construction Sites).  In Ontario, instruction in occupational health and safety is available in a number of courses and is also incorporated into trade-specific certification and training programs.

2.6.2
Appendix 5 sets out Ontario trade certificates, training courses and work experience, recognized by Quebec as equivalent to its compulsory training course. 

2.6.3
Ontario recognizes that Quebec’s compulsory training course meets regulatory requirements in Ontario for occupational health and safety training, including training requirements related to the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS); and, to fall protection in the construction industry.   

2.6.4
To implement this agreement, the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CSST), or another body recognized by the CSST, is mandated to:

  • evaluate requests and, where appropriate, recognize training courses in occupational health and safety; and,
  • issue certificates of completion.

The government of Quebec also undertakes to have the CSST, or another body recognized by the CSST, expeditiously respond to any request for recognition of equivalence between Quebec’s compulsory training course and other health and safety courses delivered in Ontario.

2.6.5
Ontario and Quebec agree to work together to recognize training courses in occupational health and safety that may be developed or amended by either province in the future.

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