A Toronto-based firm that offers a nine-week computer programming training course must be licenced as a private college, according to a statement from Brad Duguid, Minister of Training, Colleges, and Universities.

Earlier this week Bitmaker Labs shut down its operations and pulled its Web site offline because of an investigation by the ministry. The firm was advised by its lawyers to stop operations or else risk harmful legal actions that could result in fines and problems in becoming properly licenced in the future.

Duguid’s office sent an e-mail statement from the Minister to ITBusiness.ca:

“The Ontario government is a champion of entrepreneurs and as such, we will do everything to help Ontario’s innovators and entrepreneurs succeed. Of course, Bitmaker will need to register, just like everyone else – and they are currently in the process of doing that. I hope that this matter will be resolved very soon.”

Duguid’s office has been under pressure to respond to the issue after news broke about its shut down this week. Students of the course, hiring partners, and others in Toronto’s tech community took to Twitter to express disappointment with the situation and ask the ministry when the situation would be resolved. Bitmaker Labs said communications with the ministry had been doing in  one direction, and it wasn’t sure when it could resolve the situation.

Duguid responded on Twitter on Wednesday night.

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