Calgary contractor pleads guilty to charges
A local contractor who starred in his own home renovation TV series for a number of years has pled guilty to 22 charges related to unfinished construction work.
Bruce Hopkins, owner of ‘The Remodelers’, showcased his work on Calgary homes on his TV show.
However, in 2014, customers began to submit complaints that he wasn’t following through on the work they paid him for and, soon after, he placed all of his companies into bankruptcy and took about $5M from 22 Calgary homeowners.
The next year, the province charged him with 180 charges under the Fair Trading Act for operating without a prepaid contractor’s licence, misleading consumers and failing to provide refunds.
Hopkins pled guilty to 22 charges, admitting that he took deposits without a licence and that his contracts were illegal.
“With the guilty plea being entered, it shows the accused has shown some remorse for his actions,” said Tony Bell, Crown prosecutor.
Dave Reynolds, a homeowner that was supposed to testify at trial, says the whole ordeal left him emotionally drained but is glad he will be punished for his actions.
“I don’t think the feeling can ever be satisfying. I think with due process, he’ll get what he deserves on that. Probably not enough, but I think for the lives he affected down the line, I don’t think any sentence will ever be fair.”
The Crown says it will seek a restitution order at sentencing and though Hopkins won’t likely pay his customers back, it’s likely he will face jail time.
“Hopefully that will provide some general deterrence for others to understand that if you’re going to work in this area, they need to know the rules and follow them,” Bell said.
Hopkins will be sentenced on September 12.
(With files from Lea Williams-Doherty)