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Building on the success of HRAI’s “Day on the Hill” initiative in Ottawa, HRAI organized a very successful “Day at Queen’s Park” with the new Conservative government in Ontario on October 30th.

HRAI arranged for 17 meetings with Ministers and MPPs (mostly PC, but also four opposition NDP members) and a few key policy advisors. HRAI was represented by nine volunteers (mostly contractors) and two staff. The event was followed up with a reception, co-hosted with the HRAI GTA Chapter, which was well attended by members. MPP Doug Downey, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Environment, brought greetings from the Premier and the Government of Ontario.

The focus of the meetings depended on who we were meeting with, but among the key themes were the need for the government to engage with industry on key policy files like the re-imagining of the College of Trades and developing a replacement policy on climate change in the wake of GreenON and the now defunct Cap & Trade system. Members also discussed a variety of pressing regulatory matters, many of which have already been dealt with (at least nominally) by the new government. These included:

  • The need to harmonize codes and regulations with other provinces (e.g. building code, efficiency regulations, CRN registration);
  • Easing restrictive journeyperson-to-apprenticeship ratios;
  • Correcting the “regulatory overreach” resulting from Bill 59, which amended the Consumer Protection Act in ways that created some unintended consequences;
  • Amending Boilers and Pressure Vessels Regulations to exempt certain classes of commercial air conditioning;
  • Re-opening the conversation on implementing a gas technician apprenticeship program;
  • Addressing recent changes to the Employment Standards Act, especially sections dealing with payment for on-call employees.

There was a great deal of constructive dialogue on these matters and there will be much to follow-up on in the next few months, so stay tuned!

HRAI thanks the following volunteers for their involvement in this important initiative:  Mario Asta, Multi-Temp Systems; Grant Blackmore, Eden Energy Equipment Limited; Wally Boonstra, Excel Heating & Air Conditioning Systems; Victor Hyman, EMCO Corporation; Katelyn Imrie, Fielding Environmental; Wayne Langford, Design Air ClimateCare; Kevin McCrea, McCrea’s ClimateCare; George Parry, A1 Air Conditioning & Heating; and HRAI Chair David Weishuhn, Blue Flame Heating & Air Conditioning (Enercare Home Services).

For more information, contact Martin Luymes at 1-800-267-2232 ext. 235 or email mluymes@hrai.ca.