Who makes the decisions about trade classification and apprenticeship ratio reviews?


Ottawa Construction News staff writer

The Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) makes key decisions, including trade classification and apprenticeship ratio reviews, through sector trade and divisional boards and three-person adjudication panels. The trade and divisional board members are selected from applicants through an “Appointments Council” with a balance of labour and employer representatives on each of the sector boards.

For adjudication panels, the chair is chosen from adjudicators selected by the Ontario Ministry of Labour.

The other two panelists, reflecting various trade and employer interests, are selected by the divisional board from a roster of candidates, who are chosen through an appointments council.  “The Appointments Council is composed of a chair and eight other members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council,” the appointments council website says.
“Members may serve for a term of up to three years and may be reappointed. No member may serve for more than six consecutive years. Members who have served for six consecutive years are eligible for reappointment after one year’s absence from the Appointments Council.”

Appointments Council members at large receive per diems of $250 per day; the chair, Tim Armstrong, receives $450

While government officials would not provide biographical information about the Roster of Adjudicators’ members, here is some information from public sources about the roster members’ backgrounds:

Gary Beer (Tenure: Feb. 15, 2012 – Feb. 14, 2015)

Beer is a director of the Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario (ECAO) and is associated with Jay Electric Ltd. and the company’s Enerscan Control division.

He has served on the construction millwright and floor covering installer ratio review panels.

Philip Besseling (Tenure: Feb. 15, 2014 – Feb 14, 2015)


Besseling is president of Besseling Mechanical Inc. in Hamilton and a past chair of Merit


He has served as an adjudicator for the refrigeration and air systems mechanic and residential air conditioning services mechanic ratio review.  More controversially, he also served on the ratio review for sheet metal worker and residential (low rise) sheet metal installer trades, resulting in the roofing and sheet metal workers’ union calling for him to be recused from serving on the ratio review adjudication. This was denied, and the ruling went against the union’s requests.

Marcel Blanchard (Tenure: April 10, 2012 to April 9 2015)

Biographical information is unavailable.  He served as adjudicator for the terrazzo, tile and marble setter ratio review board.

Robert Bradford (Tenure: Feb. 15, 2014 – Feb. 14, 2016)

Bradford, the Ontario Road Builders’ Association’s executive director, was selected as adjudicator for the sprinkler and fire protection trade classification review.

Valerie Brennan (Tenure: Feb. 15, 2012 – Feb. 14, 2015)

Brennan is vice-president at Amherst Group, which rents cranes and other heavy equipment. She served on the cement (concrete) finisher and cement mason apprentice ratio review adjudications.

Wayne Lazzarato (Tenure: Feb. 15, 2014 – Feb. 14, 2016)

Lazzareto is senior-vice president Dufferin Construction (Holcim), and served on the hoisting engineers (crane operators) ratio review panel.

Robert LeChien (Tenure: April 10, 2012 – April 9, 2015)

LeChien served on the apprentice ratio review for the painter and decorator trades, as well as for construction boilermaker. He is general manager of the Association of Millwrighting Contractors of Ontario, and was last year re-elected as Council of Ontario Construction Associations (COCA) treasurer.

Larry Lineham (Tenure: Feb. 15, 2012 – Feb. 14, 2015)

Lineham has served as adjudicator on the sprinkler and fire protection trade classification review, and the apprenticeship ratio review for the cement mason and finisher trades. He has been business manager for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) local 1687.

Scott McCoy (Tenure: Feb. 15, 2012 – Feb. 14, 2015)

McCoy served on the hoisting engineers ratio review adjudication. The millwrights union website says he is business agent of Local 1916 in Hamilton.

George McMenemy (Tenure:  Feb. 15 2012 – Feb. 14, 2015)

McMenemy is serving on the adjudication panel for the construction millwrights trade classification review. He has been associated with the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.

Eric Miller (Tenure: April 10, 2012 – April 9, 2015)

Miller served on the plumbers and steamfitters apprentice ratio review.

Stanislav Panasyuk (Tenure: Feb. 15, 2014 – Feb. 14, 2015)

Panasyuk has served on the sprinkler and fire protection apprentice ratio review, as well as the review for roofers.

Keith St. John (Tenure: April 10, 2012 – April 9, 2014)

He has served on the apprenticeship ratio review adjudications for refrigeration and air conditioning service mechanic and residential air conditioning service mechanic, as well as the construction boilermaker trades.

Richard (Rick) Thomas (Tenure: Nov. 19, 2012 – Nov. 18, 2015)

Thomas is manager of the Sault. Ste. Marie Construction Association.  He is serving as an adjudicator for the construction millwright trade classification review and earlier was on the review group for the electricians’ and drywall trades.

Terry Varga (Tenure: Jan. 1 2013, to Jan. 1, 2016)

Varga is training director for the Construction and Allied Workers Union (LiUNA) Local 607 in Thunder Bay.  He says he has never been asked to adjudicate any file.

Edward Yee (Tenure: April 10, 2012 – April 9, 2014)

            Yee has been an adjudicator on the sprinkler and fire protection apprenticeship ratio review.

OLRB Adjudicators

            Professional adjudicators appointed by the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) include:  Bernie Fishbein, Diane Gee, James Hayes, John Lewis, David McKee, Corrine Murray, Jessie Nyman, Lee Shouldice, Jack Slaughter and Tanya Wacyk.


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