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ECAO Annual Conference Nashville September 23-28, 2019

Have fun in Nashville and don’t forget your cowboy hats!

This year’s conference has once again attracted a record number of attendees, with our registration numbers at 220 people. In addition to strong attendance, the ECAO was fortunate to have the support of our industry partners with their sponsorship.

Stay tuned for social media activity during our conference event.

Thank you to our sponsors:

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ECAO JEPP Annual General Meeting October 23rd and 24th

ECAO has organized a great line up of speakers for the Joint AGMs. Apart from having some fun at the Great Gatsby themed evening, come and hear from our speakers and engage in an opportunity to network with your industry peers.

The Honourable Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour will kick off the day before our educational sessions from Michelle Slater (Social Media101) and Paula Goebel (Succeeding in a Multi-Generational Workforce). On October 24 our keynote is Melanie Sodka who will address how to empower your soft skills to positively impact your business. Our legal panel will provide you with key information on how to navigate the upcoming changes to the Construction Act.

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Everyone is welcome to join us at the JEPP Annual General Meeting on October 23 where members and our industry partners can learn about what JEPP is doing and planning to promote the unionized electrical contracting industry.
The events are all complimentary except for your accommodation at the beautiful Hilton Hotel Niagara Falls.

If you haven’t registered or booked your room, please go to or contact Cathy Frederickson directly at

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We have organized a full Gatsby Themed evening with 1920 decorations, props, gambling tables, music and era beverages.

Come dressed to impress and try to win our best-dressed male, female and couple award.

Contractor Member Volunteers Needed- Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) 5 Year Strategic Plan

The Electrical Safety Authority has released its draft 5 Year Strategic Plan, and we are looking for contractor volunteers to help review the Plan and provide feedback to ESA on the Plan. Your input is needed, and we are looking at holding teleconference meetings to compile an ECAO position going forward.

If you are interested please contact Cathy Frederickson at or Joe Kurpe at

Click here to read the draft 5 Year Plan.

Certi-Fire Distance Learning Level Two Coming This Fall

Registration for Level 2 Distant Learning course is now open. The start date of the course will be on Tuesday, September 17, 2019, at 6:30 pm. It will take 3 hours per week and up to 12 weeks to complete the course depending on the participants’ schedule. There will be also a hands-on portion taking place on weekends. Participants are required to have an internet connection and get connected via Google “Go to Meeting” by using a computer, laptop or tablet with a camera and microphone attached. Spots for this course are limited, so please book quickly.

For more information or to register for the upcoming session contact

 Industry News

The new website will offer support for adjudicators ruling on construction

Angela Gismondi September 3, 2019

The new online tool is being launched to provide support for adjudicators on construction disputes.

The service will offer new constructions adjudicators in Ontario and across Canada 24/7 access to subject matter experts in construction, design and construction management, says its creator Derek Smith, founder of by Constructionlab, adding the service will be simple to use and is expected to serve lawyers, paralegals, architects, engineers, accountants, quantity surveyors.

“I’m creating a network of subject matter experts who will be able to help adjudicators get technical answers that they need if they don’t have a specific background in construction,” said Smith. “We want an easy to understand service that will be responsive, accurate and deep in knowledge.”

The adjudication system, which will be implemented in Ontario on Oct. 1 along with a prompt payment regime, is the second phase of lien act reforms contained in the province’s new Construction Act.


SKILLED TRADES AND APPRENTICESHIP SYSTEM UPDATE – COCA ( Council of Ontario Construction Associations)

We expect the government to move forward with the disaggregation of all trades as we currently know them into portable skill sets. We expect the government will announce the appointment of Skills Advisors in the coming months to consult with stakeholders on the shape of portable skillsets for each trade and on restricted skill sets. The planned fall 2019 wind-down of the Ontario College of Trades could be delayed in order to avoid customer service problems.


Ontario Ministry of Labour Information Sessions on Employment Standards Act and Occupational Health and Safety Act

As part of the Ministry of Labour’s ongoing commitment to providing compliance support for small business, the ministry has partnered with organizations across Ontario to provide a general overview seminar on the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA).

These presentations are delivered by subject matter experts from the Ministry of Labour’s employment standards and occupational health and safety programs and cover key topics such as:

  • ESA: hours of work, public holidays, leaves of absence and more.
  • OHSA: getting answers about health and safety, injury reporting, inspector visits, and more.

To see the full calendar go to:


Results: New small business registrations and internal responsibility systems

In Ontario, small businesses represent 95% of all employers. In April 2016, the ministry began a one-year provincial initiative that focused on newly registered small businesses in the industrial sector. Its aim was to promote and enforce the internal responsibility system with new small businesses.

During this initiative, 8,307 orders were issued for various contraventions of the OHSA, including 99 stop-work orders, while 2,335 workplaces were visited. This translates to an average of 3.6 orders per workplace visited.


Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) License Holders Meetings 

ESA will be holding its annual License Holders meetings this fall. On October 22 the session will be held in St. Catharines, and on November 19 the session is held in Mississauga.

Agenda Highlights

  • Tackling the underground economy – update on ECRA/ESA enforcement activities including the year’s major convictions
  • Sharing results of ESA’s Renovation Inspection Program
  • Update on ESA’s Licensing Strategy
  • Update on ESA’s transition to a risk-based oversight approach for wiring inspections
  • Question and Answer session
  • Prize Draw
  • Technical Hour – Ask a Technical Advisor your code questions

For more details and to register, go to




National Symposium: Preparing Youth for Careers in the Skilled Trades

The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum (CAF-FCA) is hosting a National Symposium: Preparing Youth for Careers in the Skilled Trades on October 24-25 in Ottawa, ON.

Participants from across the apprenticeship community will help determine how CAF-FCA can provide young people with a better understanding of the value of apprenticeship and skilled trades careers.


EHRC Announces Keynote Speakers for Agents of Change 2019

Electricity Human Resources Canada has announced this year's keynote speakers for Agents of Change 2019, hosted in Toronto on Wednesday, November 13, 2019.

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First up is Hadiya Roderique: Law graduate, researcher, award-winning speaker and writer, consultant, broadcast commentator, and former podcast host.

Next up is Michael Kaufman, Ph.D.: award-winning educator and writer focused on engaging men and boys to promote gender equality and end violence against women. He has worked across forty-five countries, working extensively with the United Nations, numerous governments and NGOs.


Business owners could help Ontario draft new plan for trades

ECAO8_SEPT 11 2019.jpgLast year, then newly elected Premier Doug Ford announced a “wind-down” of the Ontario College of Trades as the first step in a long-term solution to better supplying in-demand job gaps with skilled workers. College-imposed regulations, Ford’s government argued, protected existing workers at the expense of young people and business owners.

To replace the regulatory functions of the college, Ford’s government has tasked local groups — such as the Sarnia-Lambton Workforce Development Board — to survey businesses that rely on apprentices. Standardized questions were distributed earlier this week, kicking off a four-month process that will better identify employee gaps in local job markets and barriers to hiring.


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