BCOSSA Calls on the Government to Stop Under Qualified Transfers Under AIT/TILMA
In April BCOSSA sent out an article to clarify how inter-province trade agreements worked (AIT/TILMA) and to ask members how these agreements effected their businesses. In general those who responded to the questions outlined in the article (“Understanding Inter-Provincial Trade Agreements and Their Effect on BC’s Onsite Industry”) indicated that the effect of the agreement on the BC industry had been generally negative. The responses received provided the general opinion that those practitioners coming from other jurisdictions had insufficient training and/or understanding of the processes and regulation in BC.
This opinion seems to be shared by ASTTBC who in a recent press release stated:
“Sometimes applicants come to B.C. with training and licensing from another jurisdiction
and in these cases ASTTBC is obligated under a federal agreement to certify the workers.
The challenge for the organization is that the qualifications and competencies of these
practitioners may not be the same as those trained and certified in BC”
ASTTBC with funding from the Province of BC is exploring the possibility of developing national education standards with the other Canadian Provinces.
BCOSSA applauds the efforts of the Province and ASTTBC and has supported the ideology of national standards for the onsite industry since 2000.
Development of common standards in the onsite industry in Canada is a difficult and time consuming process. The process is made even more difficult given the considerably different regulatory processes and standards of practice found throughout the ten provinces.
At the same time, as ASTTBC spends time working with other provinces to develop common training standards, practitioners from other provinces continue to enter the BC market through AIT.
The training and education from other provinces may not be sufficient to meet the mandate of the Sewerage System Regulation. This in turn causes the BC industry to be undermined in fulfilling their duty of care to protect public health.
Recently, BCOSSA has become aware of Registered Practitioners who have restricted registrations obtaining licenses from other provinces with more lenient licensing criteria. With the license from another province they are able to obtain new registration from ASTTBC. ASTTBC under AIT/TILMA cannot refuse to accept the licensee and give them full registration without restrictions.
This use of AIT/TILMA further undermines the BC regulation process.
ASTTBC’s study and ultimate development of national training competencies is a laudable goal but,given the current regulatory environment in the onsite industry in Canada, it will be some time before this goal is achieved.
While ASTTBC is carrying out this work, BCOSSA has asked Honourable Shirley Bond, Ministry of Jobs, Tourism & Skills Training who is responsible for inter-provincial trade (AIT/TILMA)to implement a temporary postponement of license transfer in accordance with the inter-provincial agreements.
A temporary postponement of license transfer for the onsite industry in BC would allow for a reestablishment of education and registration standards that allow for the Sewerage System Regulation to functionally protect public health.
BCOSSA will continue to encourage the provincial government to review the effects of AIT/TILMA and ensure that persons entering BC are properly qualified to function under BC regulation and protect public health.
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