Toronto – Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), Canada’s largest trade and industry association, is applauding the Ontario Government for its decision to scrap the repeal of the Industrial Exception – a longstanding piece of legislation under the Professional Engineers Act that enables companies to fully leverage the skills of existing employees and reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens. The exception allowed some professional engineering work to be done on machinery or equipment by employees in Ontario who do not have an engineering licence.
If implemented, says CME, the repeal would have had a detrimental impact to both the sector and the provincial economy, as manufacturers would be faced with increased costs, production delays, and further skills shortages associated with new rules requiring the formal certification of engineers in the workplace.
“Ontario manufacturers lead the country in virtually every measurable category – employment, production volumes, and perhaps most notably, health and safety,” explains Ian Howcroft, vice-president, CME Ontario. “This exception has been on the books for the past 30 years. There was absolutely no basis for the repeal of the industrial exception, and we are pleased the government has recognized the standard of excellence that Ontario manufacturers continue to uphold in their operations.”
Ontario’s manufacturing sector has one of best health and safety records in Canada, with the fewest workplace fatalities, next only to Prince Edward Island. In 2012 alone, the industry created employment for roughly 800,000 people, produced $258 billion in goods, and contributed more than $800 billion to the provincial economy, notes the CME.
“Much of the success that Ontario manufacturers have had over the years can be attributed to nurturing a culture where safety is everyone’s business,” says Howcroft. “The repeal of the Industrial Exception would have shifted accountability to a single profession, thereby threatening the very culture that has yielded so much progress. This was – above all else – a thoughtful and sound decision.”