CALGARY — A Calgary contractor who starred in his own home renovation TV series has pleaded 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 “Remodel It.”
In 2014, customers submitted 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, taking $5 million from 22 Calgary homeowners and leaving them with unfinished work.
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 pleaded guilty to 22 charges, admitting that he took deposits without a licence and that his contracts were illegal.
One homeowner left in the lurch, Dave Reynolds, says the whole ordeal left him emotionally drained.
“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, says he will likely 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,” said prosecutor Tony Bell.
“With the guilty plea being entered, it shows the accused has shown some remorse for his actions.”
Hopkins will be sentenced on Sept. 12.