Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

I'm a one man handyman… and the WSIB premium rate I was quoted was 9.1% on gross… How the hell do they justify this shakedown?

Canadian Contractor Business canada Commercial Liability

As Winston Churchill said in 1945, "Armies of civil servants: No longer servants and no longer civil."

Editor’s note: If you are a small renovator in Ontario thinking of doing a single commercial job, and you decide to follow the law after the WSIB decided to herd another 80,000 contractors into its clutches last year with its new rules, here’s what they will do to your business, according to “Rob,” who posted yesterday.

It all reminds me of Winston Churchill’s warning in the 1945 election about what happens to government powers that are unchecked by common sense: “Vast bureaucracies of civil servants: no longer servants, no longer civil.” (Churchill was defeated, but that’s another story.)

“I’m a one man handyman doing residential repairs for over 20 years, registered with Revenue Canada and insured for liability and personal injury for the entire time.

While working on a client’s personal residence, I was offered the opportunity to do some light maintenance work at some “coffee shops” he owns, part of a large chain that are independently franchised.


Thinking this might be a good opportunity to grow my small business into the commercial sector, and wanting to do it right, I made the mistake of contacting (the Ontario) WSIB to enquire about registering my business with them.
The “handyman” premium rate I was quoted was 9.1% on gross.

This is to repair door closers, washroom door stalls, unclog toilets, replace toilets, maybe paint washroom and the occasional drywall repair,when required, etc… This is just small general maintenance… WOW

If I was a plumber, to unclog that same toilet, my (WSIB) rate would be around 3.6%.
And a plumber could also replace a door handle .

So by working on these small “commercial” shops on an as-needed basis (once or twice a month) my gross income (residential and commercial) will now be hit with a 9.1% tax. How the hell do they justify this shakedown?
Needless to say, I passed on the opportunity.
My head is about to explode.

Funny thing is , I called my MPP, Vic Dhillon, looking for some sort of explanation for this and he was pretty much speechless. From his mouth: “That doesn’t sound right.” What the hell is going on here.”


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