Canadian Contractor

The Mike interviews: Part 6

Robert Koci   

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A big knock on Mike Holmes is that he doesn't have a certification in any trade. Does it matter? Maybe not.

Mike has been in the public eye for a long time and has had a big impact on the renovation industry in Canada. It might come as a surprise that he has never been certified in any trade associated with the construction industry. I asked him about that. You can watch his response here.

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11 Comments » for The Mike interviews: Part 6
  1. Alan Jenkins says:

    Well we have City and Provincial laws to abide by. To be a licences renovator in the City of Toronto you either have to have a Carpentors licence or agree to hire licensed carpenters. The same goes for electrical, plumbing and heating. Operating otherwise is against the City of Toronto bylaw. Doing your own Electrical on clients property can be done but you hire a licences electrician get an electrical permit, inspect and approved according to ESA. It takes years for an electrician to get his masters licence.
    It also proves that the City is lax in its control over its by laws. They take their money from legal contractors and have little power over illegals.

  2. D. Brian Baker says:

    Wow! No qualification and he feels that is not an issue because he does great work. Tough crap! In Manitoba we have compulsory trades as does Ontario and anyone who performs work in our Province Must be either an indentured Apprentice of Journeyperson period! No one, regardless of how good they are can perform work for others without a trade license. Also, how can a guy like Mike take a permit and perform the work. He can certainly appear on a jobsite and manage people but to pick up a hammer and perform the tasks of the Trade he is in direct violation. I mean, why can I not do the same as Mike then? Why can we all not do this? We have rules and regulations for a reason. Come on’ Mike you let us all down when you moan and bitch that the work is not being done right and yet you do not even conform. I am personally deeply disappointed and offended. There is no excuse for not getting your qualifications. Anyone performing the tasks of their trade in a compulsory trade must follow the same rules as the rest of us. Wow! Really I cannot beleive it.

  3. Bud Sage says:

    I must admit my prejudice towards Trade Certification, however, over the past thirty years I feel there has been a prostitution of trades both by governments and by Trade Schools. It used to be straight forward, a carpenter was a person on a construction site that cut,shaped, and installed wood in various situations. A Joiner was the same person in a shop environment. I have seen technology and procedures advance that now allows both to be done on the job site, however, a process that used to take a crew from the start of a project to the end, now can involve some thirteen or fourteen trade specialties. Yes, they are faster because they specialize, but every additional crew means an additional grey area where communication and cooperation are required and seldom delivered. Every specialized contractor is bidding and doing only a segment of the job and as a result usually demands the time and space to set up and work unencumbered by other trades or obstacles and rightly so or they can’t make money – this combination of piece work specialization and trade prostitution has lead to less quality, longer time spans, and higher prices to the overall project. For these reasons some trade certifications don’t do or mean what they once did. I’m not sure whether we can say this is progress or not. Opinions vary.

    • Robert Koci says:

      Bud: I can’t agree with you more. It’s the segmentation of skills that is making an already complicated process far more complicated, and unnecessarily so. Something is being lost in the process of systemization. You rip the heart out of work that was easy to take pride in and enjoy. You also drive away young people who become disillusioned with what the trades have become.

  4. D. Brian Baker says:

    Rob, really you have been way to nice to Mike when he responded that he had no trade license. This is a real deal breaker for me, up until now I have been behind Mike, but what a joke. He is out there telling young people to get a trade and then does not have one himself. But he feels justified in this because he saves the day for consumers. Well excuse me… so do so many of us out here in the trenches fighting for our lives. I worked with CBC to uncover scam contractors and will continue the good fight to expose those who destroy our Industry. I hold four trade licenses and many voluntary Industry certifications, achieving the highest marks on both National and International exams all the while this guy operates his compoany with no qualifications and performs work on the job. Shame on the Government for allowing him to perform work on the job with no qualifications and I really do not care how many qualified guys or gals he has on the job. He should have been an apprentice and held the paper we all were forced to complete. What a joke… I guess Rob you can see that I am a little upset, you should have has a backbone and gone after him.

    • Robert Koci says:

      Brian: I don’t think I am nice so much as I am letting him do the talking. What he says speaks for itself. I think I have allowed the viewer to make up his own mind. The evidence is that is exactly what readers have been doing.

  5. gordon says:

    yea ok we pay all the fees insurances witch i doubt he has because you have to have a trade licence to get it .it would seem to me if he tells the public to hire only qualified he should put down somebodys hammer or put up or shut up we all have no respect for hillbilly cowboys

  6. Neil says:

    It was clear to me that Mike explained, if you pull a permit and get the work inspected then it’s legal within the Ontario system. In his shows he always promotes using licensed workers. I’m licensed, bonded & insured and I’ve seen an increase in my business because of the customer awareness that Mike has helped create. I’d like to thank Mike for helping all of us by promoting the use of licensed contractors

    • D. Brian Baker says:

      I would like others in Ontarion to comment. My understanding with the system is that if you are not a licensed tradeperson you cannot work in the trade. If it were as Mike explained then why TSSA, why the college of Trades? Why should any of us be licensed then if we can simply pull permits and do work. Oh and yah! Look what Giovernment inspected homes have given us… and Mike is proud to say he takes permits. Oh man… this is off the rails.

  7. Leo Post says:

    He com on you all, smarten op.
    I license in the city of Toronto does not mean a thing.
    All what it does is to authorize you to do business in the greater Toronto area
    and nothing els.
    It is better that some if not all of you take some serious curses in the Ontario building code part 9 The house Building Envelope and The house Health& Safety. With this gives you some cloud.
    I have worked with licensed sub trades who were boast full about their qualifications but thier workman ship was very dismal.
    From the comments I read it sound like that enyone who has a license is a super tradesman. Well I which that this is the truth but sadly that is not the case.
    (My self being a renovator for 38 years.)

  8. John Sadler says:

    Surprise – Surprise – Mike Homes is not Qualified – This is not unexpected – as a talking head on the TV why would we expect anything else – Its one way to make a living without having to work in a trade he is not qualified to do – now it all makes sense – being unqualified would put you at the back of the pack when it comes to being employed – unless you can convince others that you are the “expert” and talk a good talk.

    Oh! and I wonder what led to his bankruptcy?

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