The Effect of Bill 119 on Business Renovation

Here’s another example of the government passing a law, and making the average Business Owner responsible to enforce it.

 Haven’t heard of Bill 119 yet?  Unless you are a Construction Contractor, you likely haven’t. This Bill requires all contractors who perform commercial renovations to register with and participate in WSIB premium payments.

Why is this bill important to other types of businesses? 

Bill 119 applies to renovations to or the building of premises that are used for your business purposes.

 This Bill requires the “principle” (that is, the person or company/organization that actually pays for the work being done) to ensure the Contractor being hired is compliant with WSIB

 The Principle must obtain Clearance Certificates from the Contractor before any work can begin.

Clearance Certificates are only valid for 90 days, (and they all expire at the same time, every 90 days!), to ensure that no-one misses any premiums.


Home based business owner hires a contractor to turn spare bedroom into office, requiring minor carpentry, drywall and electrical work.

 The Business owner must obtain, from the Contractor (preferably) or WSIB, a Clearance Certificate which states the Contractor is up to date and in compliance with WSIB and premium payments.  These Certificates must be kept by both parties for 3 years after the end date of the project.

 If the Business owner fails to obtain this Clearance and the contractor or his/her employee is injured on this job, the Principle (Business owner) becomes liable to WSIB for the missing premiums.

If the Contractor then hires another sub-Contractor (an electrician, for example), the Principle and the original Contractor must both obtain the Clearance Certificate from the (electrician) sub-Contractor.

This Bill also applies to a business such as a retail business hiring a contractor to remodel the store and to a landlord who hires a contractor to perform work on tenant-occupied dwellings.

 Failure to obtain these Clearance Certificates constitutes the following Offences under Sections 149 through 158 of the WSIA:

  •             Failure to comply with Registration
  •             Making a false declaration
  •             Failure to report a material change in circumstances
  •             Failure to register
  •             Failure to get a clearance certificate and keep them for 3 years

 If convicted of these offences under the Act, the following penalties apply:

 1. If the person is an individual, he or she is liable to a fine not exceeding $25,000 or to imprisonment not exceeding six months or to both.

 2. If the person is not an individual (i.e. registered as a corporation or a partnership), the person is liable to a fine not exceeding $100,000.

Helpful Links:



 WSIB main page