Magazine for professional home renovators.

This bill (extending Ontario WSIB to up to 90,000 formerly exempt contractors) needs to be repealed post haste

Chris Langman of Langman Masonry posted this about Ontario’s Bill 119, which went into effect on Jan. 1, 2013, extending mandatory WSIB to owners and officers of firms (which government hopes will eventually add between 50,000 and 90,000 new payees into the WSIB system).

“This bill needs to be repealed post haste.  The idiotic rhetoric about a “level playing field” is simply untrue.  All Bill 119 (and mandatory WSIB coverage) is doing is putting the skilled independent operators out of business with either outrageous premiums or draconian punishments, and forcing them to work for huge companies who can afford the payroll increases.

This law and the politicians who have written it are parasites who need to be eliminated.  Instead of fining or imprisoning hard working skilled workers in Ontario, maybe we should jail the politicians.”

Posted by
Steve Payne is the editor of Canadian Contractor magazine
7 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. I disagree strongly with this opinion. Accidents rates in the construction industry have been dropping over the years due to efforts of responsible contractors improving their safety performance insuring that construction sites are safe places to work. However, injuries are still occuring. There’s plenty to complain about with the WSIB but every contractor should carry their fair share of the WSIB burden. The independent contractor claim I view as a ploy used by some to avoid paying for the cost of WSIB coverage. My information is that even when these so called “independent contractors” are injured on site they often seek and obtain compensation from WSIB!

    With respect to the drywall contractor from Barrie who is suing the WSIB, I listened with interest to the interview but wondered, “Did he obtain WSIB clearance certificates from all independent contractors under his employ?” I know that our company inists on this as standard operating procedure. This simple step would have saved him from ruin although he probably would have been forced to compete on the same level playing field as other contractors who pay WSIB premiums. If he did not obtain clearances then he was the author of his own misfortune.

  2. Sandy
    with out trying to insult your inteligence or show you any disrespect you as many others have fallen under the spell of propoganda perpetrated on the people of Ontario by the WSIB and the Ontario Government.

    First of all everyone totally agrees with your stsement about sfety and training which is not the issue here. To quote your words every one needs to share in the WSIB burden is also true. It is a burden, the burden is the unfunded liability which is some where between $ 15 to $ 19 billion. that is about the only statement you make as correct. With no insult intended how is paying WSIB premiums (and remember these are insurance premiums) make a person any safer than paying into a private insurance program that include health and medical benifits. When you supply that answer to why you feel WSIB offers a better alternative you may have a possible arguement.

    Secondly I am not from Barrie but I am more than certain builder’s contractors and any other institution that hire independents have and will continue to face the wrath of the WSIB.My company was a medium sized respectable “unionized” contractor that was paying premiums to the WSIB for individuals the law required in fact we were paying for individuals we did not even have to pay for under the ACT.

    Maybe before making such comments like this you should educate your self with the truth .We have created a website called WSIBDEFENCE.ca which by reading the documents posted there you will be given that education if you so desire to formulate a true opinion.

  3. First, let me say that the coverage amount needs to be a set amount for independent contractors – say $30,000 or what ever – a minimum which can be increased if so desired.
    Carrying Wsib on oneself and reporting one’s own injuries can be described in the following metaphor: As I drive down the 401 I realize I am speeding, so I immediately take note, and drive myself to the police station, and bring in my report, and I self administer the fine. This self reporting will raise my auto premiums, but I do it anyway. Also, all the while, I know that within one year of this action, the police may decide to fine me for unsafe driving practices, taking my car effectively off the road.
    The playing field needs to be opened up to private insurers. I will never benefit from the WSIB premiums as a contractor, because the convolutedness of issuing myself my own safety training, and the ability to be fined as worker, supervisor and employer of myself makes it more likely that if injured in a fall, the WSIB premiums will last hopefully until the MOL shows up to finish me off. How do I put myself back to work on light duty then? As well we haven’t yet figured out what will happen when I mess up on pricing or get majorly stung, and make a negative amount that year.
    Other thoughts:
    Level it out to all industries- not just construction. How about all those mom and pop store owners, or cleaners, or support workers.
    And why the limit on the top end at $80,000. You don’t have a lower limit.
    Limit the pay to the execs and managers of wsib to reflect those people they administrate.
    I hope they do find a fair and equitable solution, but, to be fair and equitable it needs to change a lot.

  4. This question may seem dumb but I was wondering if anyone could answer a thought I have had since the mandatory WSIB premium came into play…..

    The are asking that everyone working on commercial projects pay into the system even if the person is an owner operator. Okay that can make sense but with my classification that translates to almost ten dollars for every one hundred that I take home in a paycheck……does no one feel ten percent of ones pay for a insurance policy a little too costly????

    As a side note …..my sales could translate at approximately 15 per cent on commercial jobs…ie . subbing from a general contractor or apartment building repairs and yet the vast majority of my sales come directly from homeowners yet I have to pay on them too……..then my mind asks the question……

    The majority of the posts I have read relates to not trades working on legitimate sites but the underground guys and the ones the WSIB and government should be going after are not even affected AGAIN….

    I can’t but feel frustrated at times watching no name vehicles at the lumber store buying materials with pockets full of cash…………you think they are paying the fair share of taxes????

    I still think there has to be a better way for all self employed tradesman…..I thought a simpler way could be to change our tax bracket to allow all of us coverage in case we get hurt……therefore when you complete your income tax and the question is who do u work for and it is for yourself well the tax table would reflect that…….this would eliminate the WSIB and we could fall into the EI and disability plan that already exists…..?????….

    perhaps someone could let me know if this is possible or if I’M living in a glass house….

    seasons greetings

  5. What if it was mandatory for every employee & employer in the construction industry to have their own private insurance. Seems to me that for the most part they would be more safety conscious if they had to pay their own premiums, and they might think twice about making a claim for something minor. The WSIB could offer training, as they currently do, and the cost could be offset with premium reductions spread over a period of time. WSIB would certainly have to lay-off a lot of people (at least the slackers) but keep the instructors because they are the ones who care.
    Just sayin

    • Mr. Groves appears to have hit the sweet spot. Allow the private insurers to offer equivalent coverage, at least that would keep the WSIB and construction workers honest.

  6. ok, everybody is saying the underground market is not affected by bill 119, which i truly agree. they are not. this is simply a cash grab with criminal charges if we dont comply .. we could loose our homes and everything we worked for in a second, just because of a choice we are forced to make?, either provide for our families and pay the huge premiums, or take a chance and loose it all?. what kind of insurance company is that?. as well they take fair market insurers out of the level playing feld?. wsib is no different than the underground economy, this needs to be fixed and nothing is being done!!. we need to come together and shut them down ourselves!! its our damn money we earned, our sweat, blood, loss of our sleep, to make it. they are putting out our honest hard working companies. its just not worth my bank account going down and never being able to retire. my advice is that if we pay out premiums to them they can afford to police, collect our cash and become unstoppable, nothing will be fixed or reappealed,, it make things even harder on contractors,home owners, workers. and the ripple effect on the cost of living, as business will fall and rise up unemployment, welfare etc.. the cheaper guy always beats out the honest one anyways.. the government cant run without our money, the wsib cant run without it either. our companies cant run without clients. etc.etc.etc… we have a choice just like they do. we can all stand together and do something about it, or lay like sheep and get shaved of our coats, im choosing in going underground. the name is fake on here and im running a china peroxy ip.. im 17 years in business now hiring independents to now hiring strictly cash guys. you need to do it too! what happens to us when we cant fund our debts? exactly! take off the burden!!!. lets do the same to them. if we all go underground they will feel the effect and have no choice but to close their doors or fix it. ill come out of the underground when the sun starts shining again for my future. sorry guys if im bidding against you in advance, no punt intended. just sign wavers, play safe, hire only those you trust and let the rest go. just get a safe instead of a bank and bolt it down. 60 bucks at walmart. good luck to my fellow contractors.

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