Canadian Contractor


October 15, 2014 News

Incompetence, greed and lies: Report into Algo Mall collapse blames owners, engineers, government officials

by Steve Payne

“Although it was rust the defeated the structure of the Algo mall, the real story behind the collapse is one of human, not material, failures,” said Commissioner Paul Belanger.

October 3, 2014 News

I was fined for the same offence, by two different officers, within 10 minutes

by Steve Payne

Remember the days when cops used to be out there to catch the bad guys and keep the streets safe? Now, are they nothing but tax collectors? Let us know what you think.

September 24, 2014 Voice

MTO: Contractor tried and convicted without a hearing!

by Alec Caldwell

Alec Caldwell reports on a contractor who charged by an MTO cop for his truck having a “Toll Device Improperly Fixed.” The contractor says he had no real opportunity to dispute the charge, living almost 50 miles from the courthouse where he was tried and convicted in absentia. One hundred and ten bucks more into the Ontario government coffers.

September 19, 2014 News

We once had the MTO in for a VOLUNTARY audit of our vehicle… They gave us $900 in fines.

by Steve Payne

Once again, a government inspection agency – this time the MTO – proves itself to be purely interested in a cash grab, in total disregard of common sense, respect for its “client” base, or courtesy. Ontario Ministry of Transportation, shame on you.

September 5, 2014 News

Why are Japanese diesel pickup trucks not readily available in the Canadian auto market?

by Steve Payne

“They should fine the (domestic) auto makers for poorly-built vehicles, and the (Ministry of Transport) regulators for unreasonable standards…”

September 5, 2014 News

We had no idea that we were required to be CVOR registered…

by Steve Payne

“When I heard of needing log books (for my cube van)… I really sounded like it applied to big rig transport trucks, not a window company doing word-of-mouth in their local, small area…”

August 29, 2014 News

(Ministry of Transportation cops) ARE vultures

by Steve Payne

“$1,500 of tickets (from the MTO) one day… and then a month later, another $1,000 in tickets for things they apparently didn’t catch the previous time.”

August 29, 2014 Voice

Opinion: “I think the MTO (Ontario Ministry of Transport vehicle safety cops) are vultures.”

by Alec Caldwell

Our columnist Alec Caldwell says the MTO officers he saw by the side of the road recently, apparently staking out the access road to a well-used, legal construction dump site, were engaged in an ‘entrapment’ scheme

August 29, 2014 Voice

Opinion: "I think the MTO (Ontario Ministry of Transport vehicle safety cops) are vultures."

by Alec Caldwell

Our columnist Alec Caldwell says the MTO officers he saw by the side of the road recently, apparently staking out the access road to a well-used, legal construction dump site, were engaged in an ‘entrapment’ scheme

August 20, 2014 Voice

Driving in the big city: Confrontations with other drivers and road rage

by Alec Caldwell

Some people become demons when they climb behind the wheel. Taking their aggressive driving actions personally could cost you your life – or at the least a criminal record.

August 18, 2014 News

This plumber I once worked with used to brag that he was arrested for drinking and driving and as a result required a chaperone to drive him to calls for a year or so.

by Steve Payne

“This plumber used to drink a shot of mouthwash before knocking on a customer’s door. Multiply that by 4 or 5 times a day… Not even the liquor store is required to get drunk and work in the services industry!”

August 12, 2014 Voice

Alcohol and substance abuse in the workplace

by Alec Caldwell

I watched as the police officer dragged him out of his company vehicle on a Saturday morning. It was just after 9:15am. His vehicle had mounted the curb at a traffic light. Luckily no one was injured or killed. He

July 25, 2014 News

My plumbing 'warehouse' on wheels – just a GMC Savana – helps me avoid supplier runs 90% of the time

by Steve Payne

Having a fixed price list, such as StraightForward Pricing, in the service business requires a second component… you have to have almost all the basic parts of a typical residential home’s plumbing set up (excluding import parts and large fixtures) with you before you head out for the day.

July 15, 2014 Voice

Ontario Ministry of Labour begins summer safety blitz, focusing on fall prevention

by Alec Caldwell

Don’t be surprised if you see a MoL inspector on your jobsite, even if you are “just” doing a renovation… The MoL keep an eagle eye on the big commercial builders, yes. But 37% of safety orders written by MoL inspectors during their safety blitz last summer, were written at single-family residential jobsites.

June 20, 2014 News

Strategies for competing with Fly-By-Nighters

by Steve Payne

Fly-By-Nighters, Trunk Slammers, Cash Guys, The Underground… whatever you call them, they are everywhere these days – trying to outbid you by 30 to 40 per cent. Here are some ways that established, above-board, legitimate contractors are competing with this hidden marketplace.

March 13, 2014 Voice

We need to band together to stop the Ontario College of Trades forcing carpenters into its fold

by Alec Caldwell

In Ontario, we all need to protest this thinly-veiled

February 14, 2014 Voice

Do you have a defective vehicle or trailer? Don’t make Smokey Bear’s day!

by Alec Caldwell

In Ontario, the MTO can take your truck away from you for a minimum of 15 days, which will certainly throw a wrench into every project you are currently working on.

February 14, 2014 Voice

Do you have a defective vehicle or trailer? Don't make Smokey Bear's day!

by Alec Caldwell

In Ontario, the MTO can take your truck away from you for a minimum of 15 days, which will certainly throw a wrench into every project you are currently working on.