In five of Canada’s provinces, including all three prairie provinces, barbers and hairstylists must be certified by a provincial regulatory body in order to do business.
It’s what’s known as a compulsory trade.
When a trade is voluntary, on the other hand, a person can seek certification if they desire but can legally work without it.
The designations are not at all consistent across the country.
In New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, bricklaying is a compulsory trade, but it is not in the western provinces.
In most provinces, plumbing is a compulsory trade, but not in Manitoba.
But you do have to be certified to be a nail technician in Manitoba.
With peculiarities such as this, Canadians might well wonder if such bureaucratic regulation is really necessary.
Voluntary certification is a useful option for workers who want to demonstrate to employers and clients that they have experience and adhere to professional standards, but the education and process that’s needed to join a compulsory trade seems costly and somewhat irrelevant.
Such barriers to employment should be removed, and workers should be free to offer the highest quality of service without burdensome red tape.
I’m Roger Currie. Join us again next week for more thoughts on the Frontier.
For more on policies affecting the workplace, visit our website, www.fcpp.org.