VDLC Calls for Compulsory Trades

May 18, 2021

The VDLC backs the BC Building Trades Council in its longstanding demand for the reintroduction of compulsory trades in British Columbia. 

A motion affirming the VDLC’s support for compulsory trades was adopted by delegates at the May 18th, 2021, regular meeting. The motion also calls on the City of Vancouver to adopt its own compulsory trades policy, which would apply to city staff and contracted workers. The full text of the motion adopted by the Labour Council is available below. 

For more information on compulsory trades, we recommend the following articles: 

Apprenticeship Denied – Liberals’ Evisceration of Training System Still Felt a Generation Later

Compulsory Trades Protect Workers and Public Safety

Apprenticeship Training – Failed Experiment


Motion adopted by VDLC: 
Subject: Compulsory Trades in the City of Vancouver
Submitted by UA Local 170

BECAUSE compulsory trades protects consumers when obtaining maintenance, repairs or new construction by ensuring an apprentice or qualified journey person performs such work, and
BECAUSE in 2001 the BC Liberal government dismantled British Columbia’s system of compulsory trades certification; and
BECAUSE the assault on compulsory trades has resulted in the deskilling of the construction workforce in British Columbia, leading to lower wages and less safe, riskier, workplaces; and
BECAUSE the BC Building Trades Council, to which a number Vancouver and District Labour Council affiliates belong, has called upon the NDP government and Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Anne Kang to restore compulsory trades in British Columbia;

THE VANCOUVER AND DISTRICT LABOUR COUNCIL WILL call on the NDP government and Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training Anne Kang to restore compulsory trades in British Columbia, and
THE VANCOUVER AND DISTRICT LABOUR COUNCIL WILL FURTHER call upon the City of Vancouver to adopt compulsory trades for all work performed by city staff and contracted workers, working with municipal unions to ensure appropriate training and upgrading of existing staff, or grandfathering where appropriate, and with city inspectors being given authority to enforce the policy.

Photo credit: BC Building Trades Council

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