Canadian Contractor

Court orders Brampton, ON monster home to be torn down after building permit issued “mistakenly”

Revoking a building permit because of a city error, in this case, involved a five year legal battle

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August 4, 2017 by Steve Payne

After a five year legal battle, the city of Brampton, Ontario has won its fight to get an under-construction 6,600 sq. ft. monster home torn down. The Ontario Superior Court ruled July 25 that Ahmed Elbasiouni, the owner of the project, must tear down the structure within 120 days. Demolition has already begun.

Elbasiouni had fought hard to keep his project alive, arguing that the city had issued him a building permit in 2012. He testified that the specs and drawings he submitted for approval five years ago were precisely what he subsequently built, including eight bedrooms and 10 bathrooms.

But the city later claim that it had made an “error” in its approval. It tried to revoke its permit. And the five year court battle began, which seems to have reached a conclusion that the neighbours will applaud.

For the full story from the Brampton Guardian, which ran in the Toronto Star on July 27, click here.

Steve Payne

Steve Payne

Steve Payne is the editor of Canadian Contractor magazine

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2 Comments » for Court orders Brampton, ON monster home to be torn down after building permit issued “mistakenly”
  1. Bob says:

    How will the proposed federal income tax changes impact on small business contractors in the construction industry?

    Specifically, trades companies specializing in residential renovation and new builds. We are a small business with 6 full time employees and one of the wives who helps out with admin on a part time basis earning a grand a month.

    • Steve Payne says:

      Bob, thanks for your question. The Federal Government is currently in a “consultation” period until October to tweak Finance Minister Bill Moreau’s plans to close “loopholes” in the tax code that allow self-employed individuals (largely professionals, such as doctors and lawyers, but also farmers, business people and – yes – residential contractors) with inherent tax advantages. One of the biggest advantages of a corporation for a small business person is the (quasi-legal, depending on the specifics) ability to engage in “income sprinkling,” in which the income of the business is attributed to individual family members – who may not actually be working in the business itself (different from the situation apparently in your firm, in which the family member DOES legitimately work in the business). Critics of Morneau’s plan counter that there are already plenty of rules in place to prevent illegal types of income attribution. The Liberals say that some 50,000 families in Canada engage in illegal income sprinkling, depriving Ottawa of some $250-million in income taxes. Another “loophole” the Morneau’s plan aims to close, is the building of various investment vehicles within private corporations, allowing the owner “passive income” from these investments, when the money is not really building the main business, but is merely stashed inside it to benefit from lower (capital gains, rather than income) taxes. If held outside the business, this money would be subject to RRSP contribution limits and, above that, taxed at the personal rate. Obviously, the Liberals want to grab that money, too. How many residential contractors have significant investment vehicles within their contracting firms? We don’t know. How many practice income sprinkling? We don’t know either. If your contracting firm does not practice attribution of income to family members, or hold outside investments within it, you should not be greatly affected. If you do benefit from these tax reduction strategies, you will definitely want to be talking to your accountant about your options. But we need to see the actual final proposals from Morneau.