Canadian Contractor

Robert Koci   

The cash economy Part 2

Permits & Legal

The battle against the cash economy starts with getting rid of the WSIB

In my last post on the cash economy, I said I had would some suggestions for solving the problem of legitimate contractors having to compete against it.

My first suggestions are necessarily going to relate to the Ontario situation because, frankly, it’s Ontario that has the biggest problem and needs the most help.

Without a doubt, the biggest administrative headache for Ontario contractors is the WSIB. Not only is it extraordinarily expensive, it is administratively complex. We have gone over the problems with the WSIB at length in other posts, so I’ll go directly to the solution: Workplace insurance needs to be privatized. Anyone who wants to work on a job site needs to have a card indicating they are registered with some insurance provider in the same way we do with our car insurance. No insurance, you’re off the job. Simple. And you pay your own. There is no administrative requirement from the general contractor except to look at your card.

say no

The government can regulate what the insurance covers, just as it does with car insurance. Insurance companies can sell any insurance they like as long as it conforms to the legislated requirements.

What about the WSIB’s unfunded liability, currently sitting about $9 billion? It becomes a line item on everyone’s insurance premium, just like Ontario Hydro’s is listed on everyone heating bill. Eventually it will be paid, but more importantly, it will stop growing.

The only thing this idea needs is a change in government. The current Liberal government has no interest in privatizing anything so patience is necessary. However, it’s an idea whose implementation is overdue. In five years, Ontarians can make it happen.

What do you think?


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