Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

Ontario Liberals, the WSIB, and the College of Trades… the biggest scam and rip-off!

Canadian Contractor

Frank Cohn, two-time Renovator of the Year, and Saturday morning host of "The Home Improvement Show" on Newstalk 1010, calls the Ontario Liberals "scam and ripoff" artists who are hell-bent on driving every legitimate contractor into the underground.

Former Canadian Contractor columnist Frank Cohn, two time Renovator of the Year (Cohn Construction) and a well-known radio host of the The The Home Improvement Show on Newstalk 1010 (Saturday mornings 9:00 – 10:00 am), says he is disgusted by the Ontario election results last night.

Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals won an 11-seat majority at Queen’s Park.

Here’s what Frank had to say on the “morning after the election” about THAT…

“Don’t forget that it was the (Ontario) Liberals who brought in the HST on labour (on home improvements). That meant an extra 8% on the bill. The day that came into effect, my phone basically stopped ringing for four months.”


“When it finally started ringing again, when I gave my potential customers my quote, and they saw the HST on there, I would usually lose the job.”

“It took almost a year before my phone to started to really ring again.”

“(Premier Wynne) has talked about this Ontario Pension Plan she wants to bring in. Well, if you make $75,000 a year, that’s going to cost you an extra $1,200. And if you’re near retirement age – I’m not sure of the exact rule – you won’t be able to collect anything from it if you’ve only paid into it for about 5 years. Well, at least that’s what I’ve heard.”

“Now let’s talk about the Ontario College of Trades (brought in by the Liberals). To me this is the biggest scam and rip-off, right up there with the WSIB. Licensing by the College of Trades means absolutely nothing about your work, it’s just a way for them to make more money. I’ve been doing renovations for 40 years already. I’m a licensed contractor, my jobs are getting inspected by municipal inspectors, all of my subtrades are licensed. All of a sudden, some bureaucrat is going to say that I have to write an exam to continue my livelihood?”

Editor’s Note: Even worse than that, Frank, the Ontario College of Trades will NOT do testing, or let anyone “write an exam.” the They will refer people to the usual channels for people to get their Certificates of Qualification FIRST.  Such as the carpenters’ union. Such as the drywaller’s union. Wow.

“The (Ontario) WSIB is another rip off, in terms of what they are charging. The whole “Clearance Certificates” thing is just about bringing in more money. I’m only using licensed, legal contractors but if I don’t ensure they have their “Clearance Certificates” I can face what I faced during my last audit. They sent me a bill for $60,000 for these certificates. I had to argue my case for two years. I eventually got them to reduce my bill to $30,000. It’s just another way to bring in money to cover the billions of dollars of debt the WSIB has piled up. I just don’t see any of this as been good for our industry. We are already over-regulated and it is just going to get worse – way worse.”

“Under this majority government, the underground economy – already at something like $35-billion, is going to explode. We will just keep giving and giving, and we will get less and less work as above-board contractors.”


Stories continue below

Print this page

Related Stories

13 Comments » for Ontario Liberals, the WSIB, and the College of Trades… the biggest scam and rip-off!
  1. J.( York ) Wenderoth says:

    The reason Kathleen Wynne won!
    Tim Hudac promised to remove a 100000 provincial jobs, what a back room deal to give Wynne the majority. I wonder what appointment Hudac is going to get.

  2. A law made to extort money from trades without legitimate justification or force independent trades into union programs should be disobeyed and disregarded before the ink is dry. Stand up for yourselves and your customers against this kind of corruption.

  3. Questo says:

    I believe the only way to fix this so called college of treats, not trades, is in the courts. A constitutional challenge, using the teachers college as an argument, which was voted in 1997, we all trades people compulsory or not may have a change to eliminate this beast and a lot more.

    Regarding Hudak’s plan PC, The premier now may have no change then implemented in the next reality, which may come sooner then expected. Most likely in the next public sector collective agreements money becomes short.The same unions create this insane majority government will be the ones to ask them to quit. They will reverse 180 degrees, and will do the job we the hard working people expected.

    Furthermore, the issues of Ornge, Mars building and the gas plant scandal will be interesting to see, when criminal charges may in deed be their, and those deleted the emails or order it, may come to the public surface.

    The motto from Mcguinty was, move Ontario forward, yeah one step forward and then backwards, the new motto now, building Ontario up, where?
    Gravity will always be there when thing go up,,,,,,.

    • MArk Mitchell says:

      You are right Quest, we need to stand together and fight the college of shame (trades) in the courts. I cannot see how it can be legal that an enforcement officer can walk past someone who says they are an insulator, or roofer, or drywaller, and then shakedown one of the compulsory tradesmen on site for not having a current OCOT card. Our local construction association and our MPP (Garfield Dunlop) are against this bureaucracy, so what will it take to stop it? Their mission is to promote people working in the trades,and they are not promoting anything. I will provide support from the Barrie area, if we can get together and fight this in court. I don’t know what happened with LIUNA, but we should find out, as they were taking their fines to a provincial court. Keep fighting!

    • Joe Greps says:

      Definitely need to see some kind of organized legal campaign going forward, many of the Colleges practices are highly questionable:

      Publicly claiming to be a self governing body but having no democratic process.
      Mandating fees to tradespeople not currently practicing in Ontario.
      Participating in the Red Seal program but failing to recognize credentials of other provinces tradespeople.
      Flagrant abuse of privacy laws.

      May not be able to stop them at the polls but they certainly can be slowed down in the courts.

  4. Questo says:

    What can’t be understood, was the so called The QP committee and Ontario attorney general allowed this flagrant thing to happen, by appointees but not following the transparent and open democratic process.

    This college of treats, have to go together with other cash caw agencies.
    Any certified human being, man or women, in any compulsory trade, is deemed capable to practice their trade with out barriers of money pits.

    That’s why they went for an apprenticeship program, and some already certified in Europe came here decades ago went for another co-op program two years and another C&Q.

    I would like to know how one fells after seven years of apprenticeship programs, certified in both continents for the pass 35 years, dealing with this insane cash caw grab. I am only referring to compulsory trade.

    How this college dealing with the read seal programs from another Provinces across Canada, those wish to settle here in the Province of Ontario?
    if anybody knows please posted here.

  5. Sean Keane says:

    Most of the above is exactly right with one major flaw. We chirp and chirp about doing something about these wayward institutions but seems nothing is ever done. A lot of us did or are still part of Associations like CFIB, The Home Builders associations, and probably even Reno Mark. We have all paid dues to these associations and where have we found ourselves. No where.
    Protests were held around the Province one in Particular in Toronto yielded very few contractor’s and sadly “NO” Toronto contractor’s. Media was not even interested, yep they were there but were more interested in what was happening inside with the teachers. I wonder why that is.
    Take my fight started in 2006 just after I completed a stint as President of my local home builder’s association. I was audited by the WSIB found to owe the in excess of $ 340,000.00. It took me three years to prove I was innocent of their charges yet my company had been destroyed by their actions, that fight continues in the courts today.
    However here is the sad portion many Companies are aware of my action’s, many of those who searched for help found my site, I have assisted all I can but when asked if they would come forward to this magazine and tell their story we were met with one sickening comment. ” We fear retaliation” thanks for your help. Even last couple of weeks a Company in Stoney Creek a Drywall contractor faced the identical wrath of a WSIB audit . He fond my site and have been able to help him as well. This one assures me that you will hear about in the coming weeks and in fact I believe has already spoken with this Magazine.
    First things first quit the associations who have done nothing in theses situations take that money and put it aside. Lets search for and association who will work to lobby the Government like these Unions do. Watch how many associations we all belong to start acting when their membership begins dwindling. That’s where I would start.

    Sean Keane

  6. Terry Ferguson says:

    Its good to hear from you again Mr. Keane, and I see you have sound advice again.
    As I have said before I have no fear of respect for these government people.
    If anyone has any ideas on how to proceede from hear ??? If its sound im in !
    Again Im glad to hear you are still going strong!

  7. Sean Keane says:

    Terry thanks again. I appreciate your response. I am still here , some people may see this fight as fruitless, or not economically sound because the costs involved to fight this immoral regime. Apethetic people beleive in giving up you can not win. What message does that send to our kids and the next generation. Our kids and their kids are going to be saddled with this thing we call government. I look at that. I look at the damage these people have done to your society, from injured workers denied their claims to the injured worker forced into the welfare system in order for the government to pretend these people don’t exist as a financial obligation or burden to the WSIB system.
    I said a while ago. There is a way for all of us to stop this carp and yep, people may see as radical. It’s happens twice in Ontario in the last 30 years. Both times the result was positive. They give in to teachers every couple of years but have they ever gone against truckers again after they shut thus province down. I am willing to take that step.


  8. Questo says:

    Hi Sean, I think you are the same guy I watched on a video about the WSIB,
    If so, thanks to stand up for your rights. I too in late nighties, fought the WSIB on behalf of one of my family member. Encounter some disgraceful animals, I was almost arrested in the Hamilton’s WSIB office, but walk way with 11k, and problem solved or they could face the late TV news.

    Also in the year two thousand, I encounter another group of animals from the cra, in Mississauga office. They committed an error on my business file, then want me to pay 47k, these crooks wanted me to sale my home, to pay their fraud. I instead, took them to court. Took four years, and a week before the trial, they asked for a meeting, admitted their error, paid up to date everything they hold on my file back to me, and problem solved. Four years of hell, I and my family went trough.

    I have seen with my eyes the level of corruption in this Province, in the WSIB also at the cra, only those going through this kind of mess, can understand the reality of our society. Its absolutely disgraceful, governments have nothing to teach others about be good, in moral and ethics.

    Regarding to your last paragraph, I agree with you, more people need to be educated for not let themselves became total robots or sheep.

    A lot of read tape creations by the Liberals, need to be curbed down, or new generation will encounter the negative consequences economic ways.

    I just watch the local news, and there is the wynnee, announcing the new government, containing more ministers then the previous ones, I believe was three more, now we all can see the live drama movie from the QP.

    Should we called gestapo-station? This comedy may not last long, and trades people may soon have a big change, to do what should have been down at this last election. The unions which cook this apparent majority, will soon be the ones to ask the Liberals to leave in asap. I believe it will be a short leave government.

    The bag of scandals will burst right open soon.

  9. Sean Keane says:

    Thanks for the vote of confidence, you are correct that video is me. To add a little to that video and the site we created as well as the magazine coverage from Robert, Steve and John, a company in Stoney Creek tracked me down. The Company is a drywall company and 6 years after they destroyed the business I owned took the Identical steps against this gentlemen. He is as we speak working with the WSIB trying to get back on his feet.
    The funny thing was the change in attitude by the WSIB once they were informed of how I was involved.
    What really gets me is the lack of accountability or even morality these auditor’s and managers at the WSIB have. I proved them wrong in their own monkey court system. I did this with their own case files, dating back to the early 90’s as well as using cases from the Superior Court of Ontario and the Supreme Court Of Canada. You would think they would learn. Not a chance they continued to assault unsuspecting contractors. Not only in the construction Industry but any industry that deal with independent operator’s.
    At this point it can not be denied that they are well aware of their actions. Funny though when they hear my name associated with a case they are dealing with, (to date three separate companies) their attitude changes.
    I can not understand why their has been no police investigations visa vie the anti rackets squad of the OPP. I myself in our case as well as a few cases I have reviewed, have uncovered some pretty damming evidence as to how far they are willing to go and what laws they are willing to breach to achieve their goal of stealing money from innocent victims.
    Even in my case the auditor in my opinion, and I believe backed up by the criminal code, created false documents to achieve his goal of determining the people who worked for me my employees. He did so by entering the wrong data into the computer to achieve that goal. He stated in his document the questionnaire were answered incorrectly. So he changed certain answers when entering them into the system with out the consent or even consulting the individuals that answered the question . That generated what’s called a false document. I have noted these actions in other cases.
    Once that document was used against me, in my opinion is then considered a forged document. I am currently discussing these actions with my lawyers. But the main point I am trying to make is how the hell can they continue to do this to people day after day. Both these offences are listed under the criminal code yet nothing ever happens . Sometimes I feel I went from a drywall contractor to a lawyer.


  10. Dolton McSquinty says:

    The WSIB and OCT are designed to not only grab cash to feed the “Liberal” vote buying scheme but also to help the unions take over the home renovation market. For their support in the last few provincial elections the Liberals gifted these new regulations to the unions by making it more difficult and expensive for non-unionized independent contractors to operate in the province. Currently about 25% of any invoice I hand a client is made up solely of taxes, WSIB, licensing fees etc. Think about that. Pretty much 1/4 of the cost of any home renovation project goes to the government. I don’t care what planet you live on that is unreasonably high and when I explain this to clients after their jaw drops at the price they are more often than not flabbergasted. The fact that such a massive percentage of any quote is essentially taxes shows that this provincial government, if you could even call it what, has completely failed not only homeowners but also small business operators in Ontario.

  11. Bongo85 says:

    I’m just a mover for a moving company, and by law a little more than 6% of my paycheque is taken for WSIB. Kind of ridiculous? It’s not like I have a buffer to afford that. Basically that 6% is what I would have used for savings or to take a night course… mechanisms for me to upgrade to a better job (and life). Instead this seems like a mechanism to keep me in my place “You stay a mover”. You do your job well and smoothly, you will never see any of that money again… while scammers and morons get hurt or fake a back injury and they spend the money on booze. So the only option is to leave the line of work. Will talent replace me? No… because they see 6% is going to the gov’t. Illegal workers and morons will fill the gap. Thinking of online retail… seems like it’s still the wild west in those parts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.