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Lifting skilled trades regulations won’t create a job boom

The Globe and Mail
May 28 2014

Tim Hudak is right about one thing: The world doesn’t need protection from freedom-loving hairdressers. But otherwise the Ontario Progressive Conservative leader’s latest policy initiative comes across as just one more episode in an increasingly surreal debate about a supposed lack of skilled tradespeople in Canada – a labour shortage that no one can prove actually exists.

The target of Mr. Hudak’s ire this week was the Ontario College of Trades, an organization set up by the provincial government to regulate more than 100 blue-collar occupations ranging from drywall finishers to sprinkler installers. At a press event, Mr. Hudak lambasted the college as an expensive, job-killing bureaucracy that is throttling the entry of eager workers into the jobs it regulates.

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