Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

CBC Vancouver uses hidden camera to expose permit-shy contractors

Canadian Contractor Business canada

Two out of three contractors filmed would do work without a permit.

Who needs Mike Holmes to help convince the public that hordes of corrupt contractors are out there these days, fleecing homeowners and putting their very safety in jeopardy with shoddy, unlicensed and under-the-table work that violates code?

In Vancouver, CBC News and Business in Vancouver is doing its bit to warn Canadians of unprofessional standards in the renovation business. A new series called ‘Renovation Reality’ featured a CBC producer that set up hidden cameras in her home, inviting three contractors to submit estimates for expanding a landing on the back of her house. Two of the contractors said they’d do it without getting a permit, if she’d like. The third contractor said he wouldn’t do that, because he didn’t want to “play with people’s lives.”

So, there you have it, two-thirds of us in this industry are corrupt. Thanks, CBC. To view the full story, visit



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1 Comment » for CBC Vancouver uses hidden camera to expose permit-shy contractors
  1. Common Sense says:

    Permit fees are too high and just a form of money collection. Like most government created and controlled departments, they become top heavy or turn into monument building exercises. Legitimate contractors who take permits out on small jobs get beat out by legitimate contractors who do not (permit fee is 12% of the gross total job cost). The solution is to add the cost of inspections into the annual contractor license. Then permits do not affect the competitive aspect of each job and are simply a paper submitting process.
    Now, non legitimate entities should not be referred to as contractors. They are con men, and scammers. When caught, they should have their tools, vehicles, etc. seized and dealt with in court. Any homeowner / customer found using Non legitimate entities should be fined for supporting illegal trade and attempting to fraud (permits and probably tax). It really is easy to correct the underground market with a little thought. (oops, I said thought and government in the same post).

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