Jail time and $50K in fines for illegal work in Milton homes

Anthony Capkun
August 14, 2017
August 11, 2017 - Last month, a contractor was sentenced in a Burlington, Ont., court to five days in jail and ordered to pay $40,000 in fines (plus a 25% victim fine surcharge) for doing electrical work illegally.

“We are very pleased to see that the court has sent a strong message which, we hope, will deter others in the underground economy who consider working outside the law,” said Scott Saint of Ontario’s Electrical Safety Authority.

According to ESA, David John—who has been known to operate as Kenchiku Developments Inc. and Skookum Developments—was found guilty on two counts of working without an electrical contractor’s licence and two counts of failing to apply for an electrical inspection.

The charges were related to illegal electrical work done in homes in Milton, Ont.—specifically, the installation of interior and exterior pot lights.

ESA believes the severity of the fines and jail time sends a clear message that electrical work in Ontario must only be done with an electrical contractor’s licence and in compliance with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code.

“Unfortunately, it has become too common to see advertising on flyers, signs and online for electrical work—particularly potlight installations,” said Saint. “Homeowners need to know that electrical work done outside the law—even for something as commonplace as potlights—is a safety risk if not done properly, and it’s illegal.”

In Ontario, only licensed electrical contractors are legally allowed to conduct electrical work for hire. When hiring someone to do work, homeowners and businesses are reminded to:

• Ensure the contractor holds all required qualifications and licences, including an ECRA/ESA licence for electrical work.

• Confirm the contractor has secured all appropriate permits and inspections.

• Request a copy of the ESA Certificate of Inspection from the contractor once the work is complete. This document confirms the work was done in compliance with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code.

If anyone has concerns about electrical work that has been done in their home, ESA recommends they ask their electrical contractor for a copy of the ESA Certificate of Inspection. If the contractor is not able to produce one, ESA’s Customer Service Centre can help confirm whether a permit was taken out.

To verify or find a licensed electrical contractor, visit findacontractor.esasafe.com.

As an administrative authority acting on behalf of the Government of Ontario, ESA is responsible for administering specific regulations related to the Ontario Electrical Safety Code, the licensing of electrical contractors and master electricians, electricity distribution system safety, and electrical product safety.


+1 #2 Leonard F. 2017-08-28 19:02
If you stop selling electrical products to people who don't posses a valid Electrical Contractors License, you automatically control the industry, and stop situations like the one above.

No access to product = Limited chance of an illegal installation.

At least, in a registered system, if an item was sold to a Lic. Electrical Contractor, it could then be traced if it got into an unauthorized installation, or provided to an unauthorized installer.
If that was the case, then throw them all in jail..
+1 #1 Robert Sloan 2017-08-23 10:32
I don't typically revel in other peoples misery...But this is great! As the Master Electrician of record for my licensed electrical contracting company, I am held accountable for all installations. Even if done by a licensed electrician. I for one would like to see homeowners suffer some consequences too. As ESA transitions to more of a risk based business model more money will be available for enforcement.... I hope!

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