Bureaucracy and Red Tape Costs Contractors Their Licenses

(Queen's Park) - MPP Randy Hillier (Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington) questioned both the Minister of Consumer Services, Margaret Best, and the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU), Glen Murray, in the Legislature today about bureaucratic confusion and incompetence in their Ministries that will result in a significant number of electrical contractors across Ontario losing their license to work.

Recently it was brought to Hillier’s attention that the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), an unelected and unaccountable government agency controlled by the Ministry of Consumer Services, will implement new regulations starting January 1st, 2012 that will force electrical contractors to have a Master’s Licence or face a $50,000 fine or up to a year in prison if they do not comply.

“Three electrical contractors in my hometown, Jim Murphy, Les Cross and Gary Munro, have over 100 years of experience in the trade combined,” remarked Hillier in the Legislature. “Minister, why won’t you do the right thing and grandfather these new regulations, so that you don’t put hard-working men like these out of work?”

However this was neither the only instance nor the only Ministry of the McGuinty Government that is trying to put hardworking electricians out of business. Bill Fisher of Bill Fisher Electric has been told by MTCU staff that he too must relinquish his licence or face the same financial punishment. Except Fisher has his Master’s Licence, as well as six other licences including a perfect safety rating from the ESA. When Fisher wrote his licence years ago he was given the wrong licence by Ministry Staff – the Government’s solution to this problem they created is to put Fisher and his business out of work.

“Despite the fact he passed the test and has 6 licences including his Master’s Licence, the MTCU is putting him out of work as well unless he fixes your mistake,” said Hillier in Question Period. “Minister you have created such a maze of unworkable regulations, that Cabinet doesn’t even know which way to turn - why are you trying to put every electrical contractor out of business in this province?”