Canadian Contractor

Steve Payne   

Ontario's ESA fines another unlicensed electrician, warns public not to pay bills without Certificate of Inspection "in hand"

Canadian Contractor Fire

The ESA is really beginning to get the public's attention with its campaign to fine (and in one case, imprison) unlicensed electricians

Gino Macchi was convicted in a Thunder Bay court on Oct. 31 of doing electrical work without taking care of the small detail of actually having a license to do so.

He was fined $3,750.

That was actually a slap on the wrist compared with the 30 days in jail assessed just a few weeks earlier against Burlington’s Richard D. Hazel, another unlicensed wiring hobbyist caught by Ontario’s Electrical Safety Authority (ESA). Like Hazel, a second time offender, Macchi had been at this for a while. Macchi had been warned by the ESA for doing unlicensed electrical work as far back as 2009.

Macchi was busted by the ESA when one of their inspectors just happened to see Macchi at work (replacing an electrical panel) and recognized him as an unlicensed electrician.


Macchi had had the homeowner take out the electrical permit, ESA’s press release said.

Normand Breton, head of contractor licensing at the ESA, said: “Homeowners don’t realize that the unlicensed person will, in many cases, make errors that will not only be costly to fix but, more importantly, could also cause serious injury from a shock or cause a fire that could destroy the home.”

The ESA has been telling consumers to:

  • Check to ensure the contractor holds a valid ECRA/ESA electrical contractor licence (search the database at
  • Confirm that they are arranging the  appropriate inspections from ESA.
  • Call ESA at 1-877-ESA-SAFE (1-877-372-7233) if you suspect someone is misrepresenting themselves.

Breton said to the public: “Don’t settle the final bill until you have the Certificate of Inspection in hand.”



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1 Comment » for Ontario's ESA fines another unlicensed electrician, warns public not to pay bills without Certificate of Inspection "in hand"
  1. greg p says:

    We have to be careful with this one. As an ACP contractor, I can file as a small job and not get the Certificate of Inspection until the following month. ESA inspectors are busy and this would undermine the ACP program. This may also mean that a COD customer will get off without paying the bill at all, or I will spend forever chasing him for my money. It would make more sense to require that the contractor prove, by way of a notification number, that the permit has been applied for. The customer can validate the notification number by calling the ESA call center.

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