Electrical is a very dangerous field, not only for the workers, but it can also be deadly for the inhabitants. This is why the ESA and the CEC were created. They work hand in hand to ensure that everyone is safe and secure. Licensed electrical contractors are entirely bound to follow the CEC, with the ESA being their governing body. This immediately makes it safer for all parties involved. A properly trained electrician will be able to safely, and efficiently complete any work in a steadfast manner if following the CEC. Generally, it might cost more than under the table work, but it is guaranteed to be done safely, and properly. Electrical companies are legally required to pull a permit for any length of wire they run.
Television shows have a habit of glamourising and emphasizing the worst of the worst from the construction industry. Shows like “Holmes makes it right” are an example of the problems that can occur if you hire an unreliable contractor to do the work. If you are ever unsure of an electrical contractor, you can always contact the ESA or your governing electrical body to confirm that they are licensed. To even have a business license in Ontario, you must have at least two million dollars liability insurance, and five million for larger jobs. That is a simple example of the type of security you could have from a licensed electrical contractor.