unlicensed contractor

Unlicensed Contractor Ordered to Pay $25,000 for Unsafe, Illegal Electrical Work in Hamilton, Flamborough Township, Burlington, Paris and Oakville

Risky electrical work puts the public in harm’s way 

Mississauga, ON (Feb. 28, 2019) – On Jan. 15, 2019, Leonard Sankar, owner and operator of M J Construction, pleaded guilty and was convicted in Hamilton Provincial Offences Court for conducting unsafe electrical work without an electrical contractor’s licence. Sankar was ordered to pay a $25,000 fine plus a $6,250 victim fine surcharge for the unlicensed work his company conducted at seven locations in Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville, Paris and Township of Flamborough. 

Leonard Sankar pleaded guilty to 13 charges in total, including multiple counts of working without an electrical contractor’s licence and not taking out an electrical permit. He also pleaded guilty to one count of unsafe electrical condition where a live wire was left hanging in the basement of a home. If someone had touched the exposed wires, they could have received a fatal shock. 

Subsequent to charges being laid, but before the guilty plea, M J Construction hired a licensed electrical contractor to go to all of the locations flagged by the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) so the electrical work could be corrected of any defects. This was done at most of the addresses and was done at the expense of M J Construction. 

It should be noted that Derek Sankar, manager of M J Construction, was convicted before on June 20, 2017 of doing electrical work without an electrical contractor’s licence, for failing to apply for inspection and for unsafe electrical conditions. Much of the electrical work M J Construction did at the time was found to be non-compliant with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code; there were numerous defects in the electrical work. 

“Illegal electrical work puts Ontario residents at serious risk of injury,” says Joel Moody, Chief Public Safety Officer, ESA. “Electrical work is hazardous and should be performed by a Licensed Electrical Contractor with the expertise, equipment and training to do the job safely.” 

“Electrical safety is a shared responsibility among contractors, homeowners and the public,” adds Normand Breton, Registrar and Director of Contractor Licensing, ESA. “We all need to do our part and comply with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code and the associated regulations. The laws for conducting electrical work in Ontario are very clear: any business that offers or performs electrical work must be licensed by ESA. Mr. Sankar broke the law and the conviction demonstrates how seriously we, and the Courts, take such matters.” 

Hiring a Licensed Electrical Contractor 

  • When hiring someone to do work, homeowners and businesses are reminded to: 
  • Ensure the contractor holds all required qualifications and licences – including an ECRA/ESA licence for electrical work. You should also ask for their references. 
  • Check that the contractor has secured all appropriate permits and requested inspections. 
  • Advise the contractor that you expect a copy of the ESA Certificate of Acceptance from them once the electrical work is complete.

To verify or find a Licensed Electrical Contractor, visit

About the Electrical Safety Authority

The Electrical Safety Authority's (ESA’s) role is to enhance public electrical safety in Ontario. As an administrative authority acting on behalf of the Government of Ontario, ESA is responsible for administering specific regulations related to the Ontario Electrical Safety Code, the licensing of Electrical Contractors and Master Electricians, electricity distribution system safety, and electrical product safety. ESA works extensively with stakeholders throughout the province on education, training and promotion to foster electrical safety across the province.

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