Advice to those who are dealing with unethical contractors
My wife and I have just spent two years of unbelievable stress and infuriating frustration because we hired an incompetent contractor.
Our six week project became a six month fiasco that we ended, accepting the financial loss. Then we had the nightmare of working through an unbalanced system that very effectively protects all construction contractors.
Escaping the trap was expensive. We paid in dollars, in unhealthy stress, and the frustration of painfully sleepless nights. We were shocked to learn how deeply the law supports shady contractors , while consumers have almost no protection.
This problem is Canada-wide and it continues because current legislation protects a well organized building industry that has strong political contacts.
So, to help other homeowners avoid the nightmare, I assembled a package list of dos and don'ts when dealing with contractors. It's free for anyone who wants it. My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org. or phone 250 826 3395.
Still unconvinced on climate change
We have discussed weather changes for more than 60 years and we have agreed to disagree with each other on this issue.
I don’t believe in climate change in the way that many scientists and political leaders would have us believe. We have been told weather conditions are all about how we have used things recently.
My life has been more than 70 years and we have been keeping related tasks of climate change for about 130 years. So how long has climate taken to be seen what we see now? I think it’s been a lot longer than thousands of years to get a climate condition.
We only need a good look into scripture to see how much the world changed from the Nile River valleys to become a whole new one, going from lush crops and gardens to the desert it is now.
Or, perhaps even think of the whole Sahara Desert with the luscious growing areas it was back before even then to what it is now.
Another example of climate change is the Siberian permafrost and what it was before to what it is today. It would take a lot of imagination to say it’s our fault that we caused damage like that.
No, I believe climate is in more complicated control than our gas emissions will ever affect our country or other things in our world.
Paid to canvass? Be sure to ask
Any day now, a federal election will be called. Already, people have experienced canvassers knocking on their doors in support of one party or another.
Most people assume that those door-knockers are all volunteers. I always did. Then one day, during the last provincial election, an email announcement came from my local MLA looking for canvassers to be paid $17 and hour to canvass. That was an eye-opener for me, and when I mentioned it to friends they were all surprised.
As a matter of routine, I now ask any canvassers if they are being paid to knock on doors for the political party they represent.
Tax breaks for rental housing
One of the “justifications” used by community planning staff to “support” the density variance at 454 and 464 West Avenue is the official community plan guideline that wants a mix of affordable rental housing. This city gives a 10-year tax exemption to the development plus a 27% reduction in development cost charges.
Looking at the plans, it will command rents of more than $2,500 per month. For anyone ready to spend 30% of their income on housing, this means they will have to earn $100,000 annually.
And this is called affordable housing?
Shouldn’t the city ask for rent control in exchange for the gift of taxes they are giving?
And what is the developer giving to the community in exchange for their requested variance?
Will city council reject this on Sept. 10?
Take action on gun violence now
So Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario Premier Doug Ford met to discuss the issues of ongoing gun violence in Toronto.
Hey, guys, here’s a novel idea: call the prime minister of New Zealand who, within a week after the massacre at the synagogue in Christchurch, banned all assault rifles.
You’re welcome. Damn. I knew I should have run for public office.
Driving scam to steer around
On Saturday, I was driving my car in Penticton, south on Government St. approaching the lights at Duncan Ave. As I approached the lights, I began braking.
Suddenly, the car that was already stopped at the lights was right in front of me and I slammed on the brakes, stopping abruptly.
I believe he reversed his car as I approached behind him at the Duncan Ave. lights. I had no sense of a collision, but the young man in the vehicle ahead of me got out of his car and started swearing at me for colliding with him. There was a double horizontal gash on the driver's side of his rear bumper which did not match anything on my soft front bumper.
He asked me what I was going to do about it, which confused me. In addition, he seemed to know the cost of replacing the bumper. I told him I would call ICBC.
He wanted to pull off the road to exchange information so we drove a half-block and into an alley. This took a little time, which was good because it got me thinking. I drove my car closer to his rear bumper and it was obvious that my bumper did not make the gashes in his bumper.
I took pictures with my phone, including his licence plate where my bumper should have made contact. We parted ways because he said he was going to be late for work.
About 15 minutes later he phoned me and told me not to call ICBC until he called me back because he thought I wouldn’t want the collision to affect my driving record. He has not called me back since.
This was a scam.
Warning No. 1 to other potential victims: Take a deep breath; do not admit fault; do not move your car; get as much of the scammer’s personal information as possible; take pictures; and call ICBC. I think this kind of scam is unfortunate because it often targets seniors like me.
Warning No. 2 to other potential scammers: Do not do this. This young man is now on record as having tried to scam an innocent person. He will now be questioned if he ever has a legitimate insurance claim, which may be denied.