Canadian Contractor


November 20, 2013 News

Ontario College of Trades continues to violate Federal privacy laws, electrician argues

by Steve Payne

Doug Leitch is one of the very few contractors to have closely read the legislation that set up the controversial Ontario College of Trades. The legislation lets the College violate your privacy, and use your own money against your interests, he says.

November 13, 2013 News

Canadian Contractor to publish "Voices" e-news every Friday

by Steve Payne

“Voices” will be a 60-second read that will contain no-holds-barred opinions about the contracting life from our readers.

November 13, 2013 Product

Masons launch campaign against National Building Code's anticipated wood-frame provisions

by Brynna Leslie

“An attack ad has reignited a simmering feud between the Canadian wood industry and rival groups in the construction sector,” according to an article in the Edmonton Journal. Since British Columbia introduced its Wood First Act in 2009, the Canadian

November 8, 2013 Voice

Part 2: Firefighters in Construction

by Alec Caldwell

Firefighters in Ajax, Ont. have been awarded the right to work 24-hour shifts. On their significant days off, they will have lots of time to run their home renovation businesses on the side.

October 30, 2013 News

Solar panels can endanger firefighters' lives, CBC News reports

by Brynna Leslie

An Ontario fire chief says that solar panels can hinder his crews’ ability to cut a vent in a roof when fighting a fire, posing the risk of electrocution.

October 30, 2013 News

Is your crew undermining your reputation as a contractor?

by Brynna Leslie

“I watched as a crew showed up the day after Canada Day to spend four hours sitting on the front porch, drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes.”

October 23, 2013 News

Skilled workers among top priorities in new Parliament

by Robert Koci

Last week’s throne speech outlined the government’s commitment to better fund apprenticeship training and municipal infrastructure, remove credentialing barriers across provincial and territorial lines and tighten up rules in the Temporary Foreign Worker program — all measures designed to increase opportunities for those in the building industry, says the Canadian Home Builders’ Association.

October 9, 2013 News

Remember when tool companies would treat contractors royally? Well, a few still do…

by Steve Payne

Square Deal, a distributor of IRWIN Tools, recently took a trailer loaded with IRWIN product to a number of lumberyards in Southern Ontario, holding barbecues for contractors, offering deep discounts and giving out prizes. Why don’t we see more of this type of event?

October 2, 2013 News

Ontario College of Trades violates privacy laws: Doug Leitch, Ontario Contractor and Small Business Association

by Steve Payne

This is a copy of a letter sent by Doug Leitch, and electrical contractor in Eastern Ontario, founder of the Ontario Contractors and Small Business Association, to the Ontario College of Trades, asserting that the College is in violation of federal privacy laws. This is a serious charge.

October 1, 2013 Voice

Remodelers Advantage Business Summit, Las Vegas: Canadian renovators learn from the best

by Robert Koci

The biggest challenge about being a renovator, is that it’s hard to find the time to step back, look at your business critically, learn from your peers, and get educated in business fundamentals. You are too busy building! Well, Rob Koci is reporting on some of the seminars going on right now down in Las Vegas, where hundreds of renovators are taking the time they need to re-evaluate how they do business.

September 27, 2013 Product

Steve's two trucks: A personal history

by Steve Maxwell

A good work truck is your most important power tool. It’s as important as any lead hand. Here’s my personal story about my two vintage Ford Trucks. Tell us your own truck story for a chance to win an iPad.

September 17, 2013 Product

The ABCs of ICFs, a review

by Robert Koci

Since we ran our first article on ICFs (Insulated Concrete Forms) on this website last year, we’ve had a LOT of questions from contractors about what ICFs are, and how they can be used in renovation contracting and new homebuilding. Here’s the article again, with some interesting posts underneath it, including one today from Gary Brown at Amvic System, a major Canadian ICF supplier.

September 11, 2013 News

Housing starts 'stable' for the sixth straight month in August, CMHC reports

by Steve Payne

There were 187,197 housing starts in Canada in August, compared to 187,324 in July, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMCH) says

September 4, 2013 News

"The Ontario College of Trades is a trojan horse": Doug Leitch, Ontario Contractor and Small Business Association

by Steve Payne

OCOT is a destructive, government-imposed program that masquerades as a benign application, yet hides potentially dangerous predators, says Doug Leitch.

September 4, 2013 News

There is no "skilled trades shortage" in Canada, economist declares

by Steve Payne

From an ivory tower, Don Drummond, a well-respected economist, declares the skilled trades shortage to be nothing more than a mirage.

September 4, 2013 Voice

Who wants to pay higher CPP premiums for a greater pension?

by Alec Caldwell

“As a self-employed small business owner myself, I’ve never been a union guy or carried one of their cards in my life. Yet I find myself on the side of the unions (in the current debate over increases to CPP premiums.”

August 28, 2013 Product

Wrapped laminate cabinets from Quebec: up and coming

by Steve Maxwell

Today’s best wrapped laminate cabinets allow very convincing wood grain reproductions of cherry, walnut, mahogany and dozens of other luxurious hardwoods. All for about half the cost of real wood!

August 28, 2013 Voice

What’s safer to ride: A one wheel or a two wheel bike?

by Alec Caldwell

If you’ve cancelled your 24 hour sickness and accident insurance policies because you’ve been forced to pay a lot more for Ontario WSIB, you are now riding a one- or two-wheel bike, instead of having the stability of being in a four-wheel truck. As a contractor, you need to think about the risk(s) you are exposing yourself to with inadequate insurance!