BRACEBRIDGE, ONT. — A Bracebridge, Ont.-area renovator has pleaded guilty to and been convicted of one count of unfair practice contrary to the Consumer Protection Act, 2002.
Douglas Barber of the Town of Milford Bay was convicted March 31, 2017. Barber was placed on probation for a period of two years and is required to make consecutive restitution payments of $167 per month to his victims for the duration of probation.
Operating under the company name DDB, Barber was hired by the consumer to perform substantial renovation work to a cottage property, notes a Ministry of Government and Consumer Services media release.
Between Oct. 1, 2013 and Dec. 8, 2014 the consumer paid Barber a total of $26,540.
The renovator performed a small amount of the work contracted for and eventually abandoned the job. Barber promised to provide the consumer with a refund but failed to do so.
Justice of the Peace Cheryl McLean ordered Barber to complete 60 hours of community service work and not accept deposits that exceed 20 per cent of the value of any consumer agreement until all materials have been provided and all work is completed. The court also made a standalone restitution order that requires Barber to pay $25,000 restitution to the victim.
The Consumer Protection Act provides for fines of up to $250,000 for corporations per charge and $50,000 per charge for individuals convicted of offences. It also provides for jail terms of up to two years less a day for each offence for individuals.
The ministry has created an online Consumer's Beware List for citizens to check before hiring a contractor.