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Drywaller suing WSIB says: "For the past 100 years, our governing bodies have tried to rein in the independent operator… At every avenue they have failed."

"If we continue to let these people tramp on our morals, we are to blame. What we are showing our children is that 'this is the way it is.' "


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December 20, 2013 by Steve Payne

Drywall contractor Sean Keane is suing Ontario’s WSIB for $6-million for its actions during a “negligent audit” that assessed a $340,000 penalty against his firm, Keyon Drywall (which subsequently went out of busines). Already having overturned the $340,000 decision, Sean believes that what we are seeing from the WSIB’s attempt to sign up another 50,000 to 90,000 contractors, under its new legislation, is nothing less than an attempt by government to eliminate independent operators.

Here’s what Sean wrote in a post yesterday…

“For the past 100 years governing bodies have tried to rein in the independent operator, to remove that status from existence. At every avenue they have failed to do so. The Supreme Court of Canada has been involved many times over the years. There is a policy adapted by these decisions and a set of guidelines that all governing bodies are supposed to recognize. For example three cases come to mind; Montreal Automotive, Sagas International and Waco Drywall. Are all cases that use the same tools to identify the “who is and who is not” when dealing with independents. Nowhere in those documents is the length of a relationship depicted to show any different relationship.

That being said, no one is asking you to fight, it is your decision. Yet I will point out these cases were presented to the courts; mine is in front of the courts. We send our soldiers off to fight for what we believe in as democracy, yet we turn around and allow ourselves to be governed by fear. If we continue to allow these people to tramp on our morals, we are to blame. What are we showing our children is that this is the way it is. I say no and taught each of my children to fight for their rights. By doing what I have done, and believe me it’s not easy, I hope to show my children,their friends and everyone else that enough is enough.

That’s who I am and that is what I believe.”

Edited version of Sean Keane’s post on Dec. 19


Steve Payne

Steve Payne

Steve Payne is the editor of Canadian Contractor magazine
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3 Comments » for Drywaller suing WSIB says: "For the past 100 years, our governing bodies have tried to rein in the independent operator… At every avenue they have failed."
  1. I agree with Sean 100%. The question however remains, “what can an unorganized, underfunded, group of independent tradespeople do to stop a group who has the ability to create and enforce laws?” Most people recognize the necessity and benefit of the “rule of law”, but the lawmakers who have created the WSIA and WSIB have effectively legalized a form of extortion.

    Do some of us (trades) have to be jailed in protest of the WSIB system of legalized extortion? Can we (trades) organize an outright boycott of the WSIB and College of Trades? What will it take to set things right for trades in Ontario?

    I am tired of being treated like an ATM.

  2. Sean keane says:

    Chris this is what we do. Thanks to this I can guarantee that our politicians are aware how disgruntled we are. They are also becoming aware that we are no longer sitting on the sidelines. The WSIB is very upset with my site, not because of the details but I posted the case itself which contains names. The lawyer expressed the dismay of his clients being publicized. I put that pressure on. You can help. They are paying attention. What we need is the others to come forward with the names of the auditors the case files from WSIB I already have, but individual audits that are hidden fro our view we don’t. Get the word out contact your mpp about the situation. Sooner than later with the help of Steve and Robert we can force the GTA media to get involved and stop hiding behind their advertisers. Send them emails ask them about these horrid situations. We now have the CFIB on our side and will do anything to help. In fact Wednesday Cathrine Swift plugged the website on the Oakley show 640 am.

  3. Murray Bell says:

    I was ‘re-assessed’ by the WCB (in Alberta) and placed in a catagory with handymen businesses. The only problem is I am a general contractor. My rates quadrupled, and they wanted thousands more in premiums, right NOW. I started a 2 year fight with them, and did not want to pay until the case was resolved. NO. They eventually seized all my bank accounts, including my 6 year old sons, just as we were heading out for holidays. After sending some 50 documents to support my claim, they said, “yes, you are right”. I asked for my thousands of premiums back, and they said no, we will apply it as a credit to your account… Nazi’s