The GarCon protest: "Glad to see these particular trades standing arm in arm with the homeowners."
Drywall contractor Sean Keane, famously suing the WSIB for putting him out of business, says he is glad to see subtrades picketing, arm-in-arm with homeowners, against GarCon Building Group
January 9, 2015 by Steve Payne
Here’s a comment from drywall contractor Sean Keane about Adam Gardin of GarCon Building Group, who became a big news story earlier this week when employees, subtrades and homeowners picketed his house for allegedly hosing them.
“Re: Your blow out story about homeowners and trades being stiffed. Without paying any disrespect to the homeowners that are facing this turmoil, I wonder if it was not for the strife of these homeowners would the mainstream media, i.e., the Toronto Star, even have put so much weight behind the story…
I reviewed this guy’s website and I noticed he was part of a few associations but, more importantly, the Tarion badge is clearly displayed. Are any of these homeowners protected by Tarion and to what extent, if they are? Something these homeowners could definitely benefit from.
We as trades and suppliers continue to face this dilemma on a daily basis. You bid a job; if you’re low bid you get it. Then the worry starts: Will you get paid? As noted by the electrician in the GarCon story, once you’re in deep enough your next fear is if you try and force payment you are at risk of losing it all. A sad reality. There is never any issue when you are doing the work. However, when you fight to get paid, back charges, deficiencies and threats soon surface.
The cost to go the legal route is cumbersome. You need to weigh the probabilities. As stated by the electrician, if you’re owed $35k you must accept to sue for $25k which is the maximum amount for the cheapest route in small claims court (in Ontario). The other route is time consuming and costly: the case can be tied up for years. Trust me, I have been there, done that. I have, besides my WSIB case in front of the courts (now entering its fifth year), two other cases (the cause directly relating to my WSIB issue) in front of the courts now going on three years.
This is the reality in our industry. I was glad to see these particular trades standing arm and arm with these homeowners. We can only hope that more and more come forward with their horror stories and finally make our government pay attention. We don’t need any more nanny state laws like the never ending attack on smokers, the introduction of entities like the Ontario College of Trades, or the continued protection of failed institutions like the WSIB. We need our elected officials to enact some legislation that will protect its people from this form of financial tyranny.”