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Lien Act Review Top Provincial Newsmaker in 2016

The biggest story by far in 2016 was the Construction Lien Act review which has many associations looking ahead to see how it plays out in 2017.

Construction law experts Bruce Reynolds and Sharon Vogel released a review of the 33-year-old act at the end of September entitled Striking the Balance: Expert Review of Ontario's Construction Lien Act. The report includes numerous recommendations, including suggestions for prompt payment reform and effective dispute resolution.

For a list of some of the other top stories as highlighted by industry leaders visit Daily Commercial News on-line.

Nominations Now Open for Annual ECAO Awards

ECAO is now accepting nominations for the R.H. (Hugh) Carroll Safety Award. This Award was created in 1999 by the Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario to pay tribute to member firms who best exemplify the dedication and commitment to safety in the electrical contracting industry as exhibited by R. H. (Hugh) Carroll through his years of service. The basis for measuring a member’s safety performance will be the most recent WSIB Account Profile. Contact WSIB at 1-800-387-0750 to obtain yours.

Nominations are also open for the Douglas J. B. Wright Award. Created in 1992 by ECAO and Ontario Electrical Construction Co. Ltd., it was established to pay tribute to individuals who best exemplify the dedication and commitment to the electrical contracting industry as exhibited by Doug Wright through his years of service. Since 1992 this recognition has been bestowed on 18 individuals who, in their time, have left their lasting stamp on our industry.

Nomination information and application forms can be found in the members’ section at

Asbestos Ban Praised by Construction Leaders

On Dec. 15 the federal government announced a comprehensive ban on asbestos, promising to create new regulations that will prohibit the manufacture, use, import and export of a mineral that was once commonly used in construction and has ravaged the health of thousands of construction workers for decades.

Science Minister Kirsty Duncan also pledged to reform national, provincial and territorial building codes to prohibit the use of asbestos in construction projects across Canada, expand the list of asbestos-contaminated federal buildings and work towards recognizing the Rotterdam Convention against asbestos use.

The government declared a 2018 deadline for implementation of the new policies.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer declared asbestos a carcinogen in 1987 but it was still mined and exported from Quebec until 2011 and is still in limited use, with imports rising, in the construction and automotive sectors and elsewhere.

At the height of its use, a federal fact sheet noted, asbestos was found in more than 3,000 applications worldwide, including roofing, thermal and electrical insulation, cement pipe and sheets, flooring, gaskets and friction materials such as brake pads and shoes. Even today, it's estimated that 150,000 Canadians are still exposed to asbestos in workplaces. Asbestos-related diseases still claim over 2,000 lives a year today.

At this point, a federal building registry has been launched but Saskatchewan is the only province that has a registry of public buildings containing asbestos — important for renovators to know and also first responders acting in an emergency, noted Ontario MPP Bob Bailey. The Sarnia legislator has introduced a private member's bill calling for an asbestos ban in his province as well as the introduction of an Ontario registry of public buildings constructed with asbestos.


Program Aims to Help Members of Canadian Armed Forces Transition to Skilled Trades 

h2hLarge.jpgAt ECAO we’d like to bring your attention to a great cause that many of us in the construction industry can lend a helping hand to. Helmets to Hardhats Canada® (H2H) is designed to provide an opportunity for anyone who has served in the Canadian Forces and is looking to transition into a skilled trade. The program offers the required apprenticeship training to achieve journey person status in any of the applicable trades within the building and construction industry.

Regardless of an individual's military occupation, there are 14 skilled trades that they can apply to with full apprenticeship training being provided as required. A full apprenticeship program can be three to four years long, during which time much of the apprenticeship will be on job training (OJT), with anywhere from eight to 20 weeks of classroom instruction provided. Apprentices will be paid during their OJT, but at a reduced rate from what they will earn as a qualified journeyperson. Apprenticeship training is offered across Canada.

The Building Trades Unions and many Employers across Canada who are stakeholders in supporting the H2H program recognize the valuable contribution that members of Canadian Forces have made to our country, as well as the outstanding qualities and experience that they offer, such as inter-personal skills, leadership abilities, professionalism, dedication, and a desire to pursue continuous individual improvement.

To learn more about this great program and how you can help, visit

Building Permits Up in October

building_permit.jpgMunicipalities issued C$7.6 billion (US$5.7 billion) worth of building permits in October, up 8.7 percent from September, according to Statistics Canada. Higher construction intentions for commercial structures and residential dwellings in Alberta were responsible for much of the gain, as builders filed permits in advance of the changes in the provincial Building Code.

The value of residential building permits rose 7.7 percent to C$5.2 billion (US$3.9 billion) in October. This was the third consecutive monthly increase. Advances were posted in eight provinces, led by Alberta and followed by British Columbia and Ontario.

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Full Throttle - ECAO Conference Offers Once-in-a-Lifetime Experiences

bmw.jpgECAO’s annual conference in Munich, Germany this coming May offers a lot more than informative seminars and great networking. In the BMW Drifting Experience you’ll be taught the practical techniques of drifting and afterwards get the chance to put your skills to the test. In this once in a lifetime experience, you’ll be in the hot seat: on board a BMW M Model. You’ll tackle demanding exercises on the open spaces of the BMW and MINI Driving Academy in Maisach, experiencing the thrill of controlled drifts on wet surfaces and enjoying driving fun of the very highest quality. For more information on conference activities and to register on-line visit

Conference Sponsorship – Get in Front of Your Best Customers! 

Imagine an opportunity to get your products in front of the decision makers that spend millions of dollars on products like the ones your company manufactures. The partnership opportunities available for the annual ECAO conference are built to suit any marketing budget and offer a wide range of options to get your brand and product line in front of industry leaders. Don’t let this great opportunity pass you by check out our great partnership opportunities today!

Electro-Federation Canada Charity Partnership is a Natural Fit

habitat for humanity.jpgElectro-Federation Canada (EFC) has partnered with Habitat for Humanity as their charity of choice.  Like Habitat Canada, EFC strongly believes that everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Habitat Canada knows affordable homeownership empowers Canadian families with a sense of pride and independence.

“Habitat Canada is a natural fit for EFC; our members manufacture and sell innovative, sustainable and safe electrical products required for new home builds today,” says Jim Taggart, EFC’s President and CEO. “Many of our members are currently long-standing partners of Habitat Canada – through this partnership, all members can now participate in this program and help strengthen our industry’s commitment to electrical safety and addressing the issue of affordable housing. EFC hopes to have a lasting impact on the communities in which we work and live.”

Siemens, Schneider Electric and Standard Products are among several EFC members who are strong supporters of Habitat Canada. These and other member companies not only contribute financially, but also provide product and volunteer support to Habitat affiliates across Canada.

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity Canada and how you can help please visit

For more information from EFC you can contact Swati Patel, Director, Research & Communications at 647-260-3090 or

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