Ontario takes aim at underground economy in construction

Monday, May 14, 2007
The Canadian Press

The Ontario Labour Ministry is teaming up with a private, not-for-profit firm to clamp down on the underground economy in the construction sector.

The ministry will work with Tarion Warranty Corp. to locate unregistered homebuilding sites in the province, Labour Minster Steve Peters said Monday in Ottawa.

He said the government will advise Tarion of potential violators and Tarion will send an inspector to investigate. A ministry inspector would then take over the case.
Tarion acts as a guarantor of builders' warranties for new homes and condos.  All residential builders in Ontario must be registered with Tarion.

Peters said the underground economy in the construction sector costs up to $2 billion per year in lost revenue through unpaid taxes, premiums and other fees.