Advertising for illegal electrical work costs unlicensed contractor $12,500
By Ellen Cools
September 13, 2017 —Yvon Richer of Orleans, Ont. was convicted in an Ottawa court on August 29 and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine plus a 25% ($2,500) victim fine surcharge for advertising for electrical work without a license.
Richer was also convicted in 2014 by the Provincial Offences Court in Ottawa for working without an electrical contractors license and failing to take out a permit for electrical work. Richer was ordered to pay a $1,000 fine plus a victim fine surcharge on each count.
“Electrical safety is a partnership and we all have a role to play,” said Scott Saint, chief public safety officer, Electrical Safety Authority. “ESA has dedicated resources to help combat contractors from doing electrical work without a license, which is what helped secure this conviction. It is also the responsibility of homeowners to do their homework and make sure the contractors they hire are properly licensed.”
ESA says they receive hundreds of reports each year about illegal electrical work conducted in Ontario, including reports involving contractors advertising illegally. Their licensing team has developed an approach to intercept illegal advertising online, including targeted efforts with Kijiji, which has led to two convictions (including Richer’s), multiple investigations and over 500 warnings issued. Additionally, 70% of advertisements ESA has identified on Kijiji have been removed.
“Unfortunately, we see too many examples of unlicensed contractors advertising for electrical services, which is against the law,” said Normand Breton, registrar, contractor licensing, ESA. “Although online sites and referrals can be a good way to source trades, business owners and homeowners must verify the contractor is licensed before hiring. Electrical contractors are required to display their license number on all ads, and you can easily verify the license using ESA’s online look-up tool.”