Former Canadian Contractor columnist Frank Cohn, two time Renovator of the Year (Cohn Construction) and a well-known radio host of the The The Home Improvement Show on Newstalk 1010 (Saturday mornings 9:00 – 10:00 am), says he is disgusted by the Ontario election results last night.
Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals won an 11-seat majority at Queen’s Park.
Here’s what Frank had to say on the “morning after the election” about THAT…
“Don’t forget that it was the (Ontario) Liberals who brought in the HST on labour (on home improvements). That meant an extra 8% on the bill. The day that came into effect, my phone basically stopped ringing for four months.”
“When it finally started ringing again, when I gave my potential customers my quote, and they saw the HST on there, I would usually lose the job.”
“It took almost a year before my phone to started to really ring again.”
“(Premier Wynne) has talked about this Ontario Pension Plan she wants to bring in. Well, if you make $75,000 a year, that’s going to cost you an extra $1,200. And if you’re near retirement age – I’m not sure of the exact rule – you won’t be able to collect anything from it if you’ve only paid into it for about 5 years. Well, at least that’s what I’ve heard.”
“Now let’s talk about the Ontario College of Trades (brought in by the Liberals). To me this is the biggest scam and rip-off, right up there with the WSIB. Licensing by the College of Trades means absolutely nothing about your work, it’s just a way for them to make more money. I’ve been doing renovations for 40 years already. I’m a licensed contractor, my jobs are getting inspected by municipal inspectors, all of my subtrades are licensed. All of a sudden, some bureaucrat is going to say that I have to write an exam to continue my livelihood?”
Editor’s Note: Even worse than that, Frank, the Ontario College of Trades will NOT do testing, or let anyone “write an exam.” the They will refer people to the usual channels for people to get their Certificates of Qualification FIRST. Such as the carpenters’ union. Such as the drywaller’s union. Wow.
“The (Ontario) WSIB is another rip off, in terms of what they are charging. The whole “Clearance Certificates” thing is just about bringing in more money. I’m only using licensed, legal contractors but if I don’t ensure they have their “Clearance Certificates” I can face what I faced during my last audit. They sent me a bill for $60,000 for these certificates. I had to argue my case for two years. I eventually got them to reduce my bill to $30,000. It’s just another way to bring in money to cover the billions of dollars of debt the WSIB has piled up. I just don’t see any of this as been good for our industry. We are already over-regulated and it is just going to get worse – way worse.”
“Under this majority government, the underground economy – already at something like $35-billion, is going to explode. We will just keep giving and giving, and we will get less and less work as above-board contractors.”