What was on contractors' minds in 2012: Our top 6 stories of the year
From Mike Holmes, to double digit sales taxes, to the Ontario College of Trades, there were a lot of stories that got our readers riled up.
By Steve Payne
We are a small but dedicated team here at global headquarters of Canadian Contractor. But thanks to the bespectacled, nerdish online bean counters (OK, it’s just a software program) at “Google Analytics” we get to keep track of every page view (but not your identity, unless you comment, of course) of stories published in the Canadian Contractor newsletter and at www.canadiancontractor.ca.
So here were are most-viewed stories from 2012:
1. Mike Holmes trashes contractors in Readers Digest. He said 70 per cent of contractors were “bad,” 20 per cent were `good` and 10 per cent of you were… “ugly.” We reported on this and got about 70 comments in all, including follow up stories. About 70 per cent of you thought Mike Holmes was “bad” for saying this, about 20 per cent of you thought he was “good” to declare this (because if you’re good, you can make a lot more money). And about 10 per cent of you had really “ugly” things to say about the world’s most famous contractor. Our 70-20-10 calculation, matching Mike Holmes`, is a rough guess: We didn’t officially add them up. Neither did Mike Holmes, we suspect, either.
2. Another contractor enters WSIB hell. This story, published in the springtime, detailed (yet again) how Ontario’s Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) was (we believe) being grossly unfair to another honest, hard-working, self-employed renovator. And it is getting worse (as more recent stories attest).
3. How to stop cash-only clients in their tracks. This piece, in which we gave strategies for avoiding working under-the-table for cash (if you want to avoid it), got a ton of views. With sales taxes in the double digits in most provinces, the cash economy continues to be an unwelcome competitor, and bottom-line killer, for many contractors.
4. New York City carpenters make $200,000 a year. Well, they do in one particular union. Green card, anyone.
5. Ontario College of Trades will protect legitimate contractors, says its chairperson. Upon further reflection, we have concluded that this is rubbish. It`s essentially a tax, if not by definition, at least by effect. But we published the story about how great the OCOT will be, according to the people who run it, and got about as much backlash as we did about Mike Holmes. The $120 compulsory fees, starting this year, to join the College, affect plumbers, electricians, sheet metal workers and air conditioning mechanics.
6. Electricians tops in hour pay. No wonder the Ontario College of Trades wants to put its hands in their pockets.
Thanks for reading, and please let us know what is the top story affecting you right now.