Magazine for professional home renovators.

Man the barricades

By Rob Koci

The list of those who broke the law to improve it is long and distinguished: Jesus, Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, to name but a few.

 It’s called civil disobedience. Here’s Henry David Thoreau’s definition from his famous essay, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience: “A public non-violent and conscientious breach of law undertaken with the aim of bringing about a change in laws or government policies.”

 I prefer a more robust definition. “Civil disobedience is the act of breaking the law, born out of necessity when said law is full of crap, destroys lives and punishes the innocent while those who defend it make it clear they won’t listen to anything else.”

 But let’s stick to Thoreau on why it should happen: “If it (the law) is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine.”

 With the establishment of the Ontario College of Trades, along with the pressure from the Ministry of Labour, a punitive tax regime at all levels of government and the pressure of a well-oiled, consumer friendly, cheap cash economy, legitimate contractors in that province are being put in a position where they have to thinking seriously of breaking the law to make a very important point.

 I defend them.

Being illegitimate is no fun. Being on the wrong side of the law is no fun. Ask any of the esteemed law-breakers of history or read their stories. But when you become the agents of injustice by obeying the law, something’s got to give. For justice’s sake, sometimes, it’s necessary.


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Rob Koci is the publisher of Canadian Contractor magazine. 647 407 0754
3 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Taking action is what Contractors need to do. The real question will be, can Contractors unite to fight this from one united front and can and will Contractors from all accross Canada get behind this and help? Or will we be typical Canadiains and just conform. Look what conformance is getting us today. Let this go and it is no telling what we will be facing in the future.

    • Contractors do need to unite. But, if you look at the friction that the teachers (who have a union behind them) have against them, it probably will not make any difference for the construction fields. I may be looking at shutting down. Another soon to be welfare recipient once evrything I have worked for is gone.

  2. Nothing will change!
    It’s fear of the concequence that dictates!
    I’m only 52 but am starting to understand why my Grandfather shaked his head so often.
    To stand up amongst everyone and ruffle some feather’s one has to accept a physcotic person might kill you.
    JFK, John Lennon, the list is endless!

    It’s not about being Canadian.

    It’s about your life because you told someone what they really needed to hear and they did’nt like it!


    yer gone and everything you stood for with it!

    Let’s start with accountable electorite’s! Elect first a person unafraid, then the core will follow.

    yer very welcome, cause if I told everyone I ever met what I really think; I’d be pushin’ up daisy’s 30 year’s ago!

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