Canadian Contractor

If I wanted something done under the table, I know exactly who to call: the fire department

"What gets my goat is that the government is fully aware of (this) very large underground base."


December 6, 2013
By Steve Payne
Steve Payne

Canadian Contractor reader James Brown posted this on Dec. 5th.

“I am a fully legit contractor, 23Β  years in business, with all the items required to ply my trade. The government once sent me a letter requesting that I turn in anyone working in the underground economy. All my work is above board and that’s where it will stay. That’s how you stay in business. Thus, I don’t know anybody in the underground economy – but if I wanted something done under the table I know exactly who to call: the fire department. No disrespect intended to firemen doing what they do best. Personally, the side job part of it doesn’t bother me: I am hired for the work I do well and don’t need to compete with handymen. My competition is always with legitimate tradesmen. What gets my goat is that the government is fully aware of the very large underground base in the fire departments and I have never heard of them researching this. I suspect it would not be a popular thing to do politically speaking.”


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2 Comments » for If I wanted something done under the table, I know exactly who to call: the fire department
  1. Steve says:

    I’m sure it not just the fire department.

    If you look at it, I’m sure you would also see guys that work for the tdsb maintenance department also taking the jobs, you could also make the argument for the union carpenter, drywallers or any another union that works in the construction industry.

    I don’t really have a problem with this, its part of being in a free market. You always have your pros and cons. The flip side would be to have an overly regulated industry where the government is constantly looking over your shoulder. If I have my choice I would take option one.

    One other comment that I would like to make is that whenever I come across someone that works for a union and is also doing work on the side, I find that they really lack a good business sense. In a union you don’t have to work with customers or deal with difficult subs. I find these guy don’t stick around long, because they lack the skill to deal with customers. I am not saying everyone is like this but I my experience its the majority.

    I don’t really look at them as competition but more as a nuisance, I also find they tend to be drawn to the difficult customers since those customers are only looking at price and not quality, personally they can have those customers, I will even recommend some to them.

  2. Terry says:

    I think Steve is right on with this one !

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