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How to Verify a Professional's License in Ontario?

Ontario generally requires that professionals obtain a state-issued occupational license from the California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) before offering their services to its residents. The DCA collectively administers more than 3.9 million licenses across more than 200 professional categories, and it is your responsibility to ensure that any professional you intend to hire in Ontario has a valid license issued by this agency. You can perform this task by using the online license search tool provided and maintained by the DCA specifically for this purpose.

After making sure that your professional is duly licensed, it may be necessary to take a step further by ensuring that this professional obtains any mandatory city-issued permits that may be required for the job at hand. These permits are issued by the Ontario Building Department, and whether or not you will require one is primarily dependent on the nature and scope of the project that you intend to embark on. Nevertheless, you will typically require a permit in Ontario to carry out projects that involve the construction, alteration, or repair of buildings and structures. The Ontario Building Department provides interested parties with online access to downloadable files on some of its permitting general requirements. You can also contact this department at (909) 395-2023 to make further inquiries on the city's permitting process and procedures.

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Do Ontario Neighborhood Councils
Issue Permits?

Neighborhood associations in Ontario do not issue building or construction-related permits. These associations are typically formed by residents of the city's neighborhoods to create an avenue for voicing concerns and opinions on matters that affect the general livability of their respective neighborhoods. In many cases, these neighborhood associations collaborate with relevant city agencies and other stakeholders to promote a safe, vibrant, and healthy community for their members. In May 2021, city officials announced that it would be moving forward with its Smart Ontario initiative, a citywide infrastructure renewal program designed to improve safety, efficiency, and connectivity in the city. It is estimated that this initiative will save the Ontario about $75 million in utility and operational costs while also reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by over 10,000 tons annually. In June 2021, city officials partnered with residents and neighborhood associations to host a fireworks takeback event aimed at combating illegal fireworks in Ontario. This event was held as a direct result of a fireworks explosion a few months earlier that had resulted in two deaths and millions of dollars in damages.

How to File an Unfair Business
Complaint in Ontario?

Complaints that involve the unfair, deceptive or fraudulent practices of businesses in Ontario can be filed by contacting the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office's Consumer Protection Unit at (909) 382-3800. You can also contact the West Valley Division of the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office at (909) 989-0056 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m., Mondays to Fridays to report these types of matters.

The San Bernardino District Attorney's Office is primarily a prosecutorial agency, and therefore your complaint will be typically referred to an appropriate agency for investigation, following which a criminal or civil case may be filed against the business in question. However, it is important to note that any criminal or civil actions taken by the San Bernardino District Attorney's Office are done on behalf of the public, not private citizens. As such, there is no guarantee that you will receive restitution as a result of these actions. Considering this, you should also consider pursuing private legal action against the business named in your complaint to get proper restitution. This can include filing a civil action with the Small Claims Division of the San Bernardino County Superior Court. Note that this division has limited jurisdiction over civil matters that do not exceed $10,000. It is advisable to get proper legal advice before pursuing legal action of any kind. You can do this by contacting the San Bernardino County Small Claims Advisor via email, or via phone numbers (909) 387-3880 and (800) 634-9085. Alternatively, you can get referrals to attorneys in Ontario by reaching out to the San Bernardino County Bar Association's Legal Referral Service, either online or by calling (909) 888-6791.