Ontario Provincial Police charge cottage country contractor
By Patrick Flannery
The CBC is reporting Scott Eisemann has been arrested again on charges of fraud. He allegedly took deposits and payments without performing the contracted work.
Advice in the article from the police to homeowners: “If you are considering hiring a contractor, I suggest doing your homework, finding a reputable company or contractor and check references, check numerous references, do your homework. and buyer beware.”
With respect to the OPP, this isn’t always easy to do as a property owner without knowledge of the construction trades. It’s not their job, but it would be good if police media liasions were armed with at least a few names of organizations the public might contact to check the bona fides of people claiming to be contractors. Or to find legitimate contractors in their area in the first place. Renomark and the Canadian Homebuilders Association would be an obvious one they could mention. Yes, there are lots of good contractors who are not members but at least it would get homeowners with no idea where to start on the right path and offer some protection from outright criminals.
Going further, see Steve Ryan’s two-part column series in our March/April and May/June issues discussing the insufficiency of the “buyer beware” ethic when it comes to purchasing contracting services. One reason police can’t point people to an “official” source certifying contracting businesses is because there isn’t one. We all know about the unlamented collapse of the Ontario College of Trades, but the problems it was intended to address remain.