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Service Alberta pursues another allegedly crooked contractor

Dedric Robinson. apparently a fly-by-night renovator, is the subject of an investigation by the consumer protection agency in Alberta


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February 26, 2015 by Steve Payne

Remember the “sting” operation last year, when Service Alberta staff posed as homeowners and busted a number of contractors for offering cash deals? Well, the folks at Alberta’s consumer protection branch are back on the jobsite again: this time going after what CBC calls “a disgraced former financier and real estate agent,” Dedric Robinson. In this story from CBC Edmonton, Robinson, who did business under the names The Improvement Source, Capitol Renovations, Capitol Construction and Capitol Abatement, is being investigated by the government agency for a variety of fly-by-night behaviours.


Steve Payne

Steve Payne

Steve Payne is the editor of Canadian Contractor magazine
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2 Comments » for Service Alberta pursues another allegedly crooked contractor
  1. These are the kind of guys that give this business a bad reputation. He’s essentially a con man that was using construction as his facade.

    My advice to homeowners would be to not give a down payment check until you’ve signed a contract. And don’t sign the contract until you’ve spoken to some of the contractors past clients. Especially on jobs that are priced over 3 digits.

    I feel really bad for the people in that news story, and I hope they find an honest contractor that will treat them properly, and do quality work.

  2. Questo says:

    Michael, your advise is great but you should also read this document.

    I don’t know much about Alberta in the side tax collector agencies acting under all source of protections guises like here in Ontario.

    I believe this act will cover the whole country, including all provinces and territories.

    Furthermore about the con man, this problem is very old and will never be abolished totally, can be compared to the drug trade, the large sharks always will be the problem feeding the machine on the back ground.

    The costumers in this case are part of this problem, but are out of this picture, no blame, why? Are they so stupid and uneducated on these matters? Or they find prices to attractive to for them? Can’t they smell a rotten egg?

    Abuse of Dominant Position

    Definition of “anti-competitive act”

    78. (1) For the purposes of section 79, “anti-competitive act”, without restricting the generality of the term, includes any of the following acts:

    (a) squeezing, by a vertically integrated supplier, of the margin available to an unintegrated customer who competes with the supplier, for the purpose of impeding or preventing the customer’s entry into, or expansion in, a market;

    (b) acquisition by a supplier of a customer who would otherwise be available to a competitor of the supplier, or acquisition by a customer of a supplier who would otherwise be available to a competitor of the customer, for the purpose of impeding or preventing the competitor’s entry into, or eliminating the competitor from, a market;

    (c) freight equalization on the plant of a competitor for the purpose of impeding or preventing the competitor’s entry into, or eliminating the competitor from, a market;

    (d) use of fighting brands introduced selectively on a temporary basis to discipline or eliminate a competitor;

    (e) pre-emption of scarce facilities or resources required by a competitor for the operation of a business, with the object of withholding the facilities or resources from a market;

    (f) buying up of products to prevent the erosion of existing price levels;

    (g) adoption of product specifications that are incompatible with products produced by any other person and are designed to prevent his entry into, or to eliminate him from, a market;

    (h) requiring or inducing a supplier to sell only or primarily to certain customers, or to refrain from selling to a competitor, with the object of preventing a competitor’s entry into, or expansion in, a market; and

    (i) selling articles at a price lower than the acquisition cost for the purpose of disciplining or eliminating a competitor.

    (j) and (k) [Repealed, 2009, c. 2, s. 427]

    (2) [Repealed, 2009, c. 2, s. 427]

    R.S., 1985, c. 19 (2nd Supp.), s. 45;
    2000, c. 15, s. 13;
    2009, c. 2, s. 427.

    Previous Version

    Marginal note:Prohibition where abuse of dominant position

    79. (1) Where, on application by the Commissioner, the Tribunal finds that

    (a) one or more persons substantially or completely control, throughout Canada or any area thereof, a class or species of business,

    (b) that person or those persons have engaged in or are engaging in a practice of anti-competitive acts, and

    (c) the practice has had, is having or is likely to have the effect of preventing or lessening competition substantially in a market,

    the Tribunal may make an order prohibiting all or any of those persons from engaging in that practice.

    Marginal note:Additional or alternative order

    (2) Where, on an application under subsection (1), the Tribunal finds that a practice of anti-competitive acts has had or is having the effect of preventing or lessening competition substantially in a market and that an order under subsection (1) is not likely to restore competition in that market, the Tribunal may, in addition to or in lieu of making an order under subsection (1), make an order directing any or all the persons against whom an order is sought to take such actions, including the divestiture of assets or shares, as are reasonable and as are necessary to overcome the effects of the practice in that market.

    Marginal note:Limitation

    (3) In making an order under subsection (2), the Tribunal shall make the order in such terms as will in its opinion interfere with the rights of any person to whom the order is directed or any other person affected by it only to the extent necessary to achieve the purpose of the order.

    Marginal note:Administrative monetary penalty

    (3.1) If the Tribunal makes an order against a person under subsection (1) or (2), it may also order them to pay, in any manner that the Tribunal specifies, an administrative monetary penalty in an amount not exceeding $10,000,000 and, for each subsequent order under either of those subsections, an amount not exceeding $15,000,000.

    Marginal note:Aggravating or mitigating factors

    (3.2) In determining the amount of an administrative monetary penalty, the Tribunal shall take into account any evidence of the following:

    (a) the effect on competition in the relevant market;

    (b) the gross revenue from sales affected by the practice;

    (c) any actual or anticipated profits affected by the practice;

    (d) the financial position of the person against whom the order is made;

    (e) the history of compliance with this Act by the person against whom the order is made; and

    (f) any other relevant factor.

    Marginal note:Purpose of order

    (3.3) The purpose of an order made against a person under subsection (3.1) is to promote practices by that person that are in conformity with the purposes of this section and not to punish that person.

    Marginal note:Superior competitive performance

    (4) In determining, for the purposes of subsection (1), whether a practice has had, is having or is likely to have the effect of preventing or lessening competition substantially in a market, the Tribunal shall consider whether the practice is a result of superior competitive performance.

    Marginal note:Exception

    (5) For the purpose of this section, an act engaged in pursuant only to the exercise of any right or enjoyment of any interest derived under the Copyright Act, Industrial Design Act, Integrated Circuit Topography Act, Patent Act, Trade-marks Act or any other Act of Parliament pertaining to intellectual or industrial property is not an anti-competitive act.

    Marginal note:Limitation period

    (6) No application may be made under this section in respect of a practice of anti-competitive acts more than three years after the practice has ceased.

    Marginal note:Where proceedings commenced under section 45, 49, 76, 90.1 or 92

    (7) No application may be made under this section against a person on the basis of facts that are the same or substantially the same as the facts on the basis of which

    (a) proceedings have been commenced against that person under section 45 or 49; or

    (b) an order against that person is sought by the Commissioner under section 76, 90.1 or 92.

    R.S., 1985, c. 19 (2nd Supp.), s. 45;
    1990, c. 37, s. 31;
    1999, c. 2, s. 37;
    2002, c. 16, s. 11.4;
    2009, c. 2, s. 428.