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ECAO Wants to Hear from Members

With the recent announcement from the Ontario government on opening all construction in Ontario, ECAO understands that our members’ top priority is getting back to work.

While we appreciate that this is a busy time for our contractor members, we are asking for your urgent input on our recent survey. The results from this survey will assist ECAO in building our new strategic plan to better meet your needs for relevant and timely information, guidance, services, and products. Your response is critical in making your association work for you.

To complete the survey click here.

You may also copy the link below into your browser:



Ontario Announces All Construction to Reopen

Ontario’s first phase of its reopening plan involves a full resumption of retail outside of malls, and all construction projects, starting on May 19. The government is expanding essential construction to allow below-grade multi-unit residential construction projects like apartments and condominiums to begin and existing above-grade projects to continue, as well as all ICI construction.

The Ontario government is extending the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act until June 2.

The government also passed legislation to allow electronic filing of business registration documents, enabling virtual meetings and extended time periods for AGMs.

Full news Release here.

ECAO Guidelines for Return to Work Consideration for Members Post Pandemic Shutdown

ECAO has developed the following guidelines as general items to consider prior to returning to a job site that was previously shut down as a result of COVID-19.  This is not to be construed as legal, health and safety, nor Principal Agreement advice.  This is merely a checklist of items that might otherwise escape your attention.

To download the list of considerations click here.

Guidance Documents to Prepare for Return to Work for Employers and Employees

Ontario is releasing safety guidelines, specific to sectors, to protect workers, customers and the general public from COVID-19 as it prepares for a gradual reopening of the provincial economy.

These sector guidelines contain recommendations and tips for employers on how to keep workers safe on the job. Posters for both employers and workers also offer advice on preventative actions, including physical distancing and workplace sanitation. Employers are encouraged to download the posters to print and post in the workplace.

    The full list of Ontario Resources go here.

    Provincial Infrastructure Invest Program

    The federal government is preparing to spend more than $3 billion in infrastructure money on projects to make facilities more pandemic-resistant and encourage outdoor activities in the age of COVID-19, according to Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna 


    Survey says: 98 per cent of Ontario contractors impacted by COVID-19

    ecao1-may202020.pngAccording to an Ontario Construction Secretariat survey, 98 per cent of contractors have been impacted by COVID-19, with more than half reporting that most or all their work has halted.

    The Coronavirus Contractors Survey: Impacts and Actions survey targeted 200 industrial, commercial and institutional construction companies across Ontario.

    Here are some of the findings:

    • When it comes to how much of their work has been impacted, contractors report on average that 64 per cent of their existing work has stopped, and 65 per cent of upcoming work has been delayed.
    • Supply chains have also been affected by the coronavirus, with 63 per cent of contractors reporting medium to high impact.

    Contractors’ biggest concern right now is ensuring the health and safety of their workers and staff, followed by global recession and workforce productivity. Other frequently reported concerns include supply chain disruptions, keeping their firms in business, and their ability to meet contractual deadlines.

    Read the Full Report here


    Minister McNaughton Responds to ECAO on Joint Industry Action

    The ECAO received the letter below in response to the efforts of working together with IBEW CCO during COVID 19 and its impact on the construction industry.

    Dear Mr. Aitken:

    Thank you for your letter about the recent memorandum of agreement between the Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and IBEW Construction Council of Ontario. I appreciate the time you have taken to share this information with me.

    During these unprecedented times it is inspiring to see industry partners working together for the good of Ontario’s electrical workers and the health and well-being of our communities. This is certainly a welcome development, and as Minister I am heartened to see an important and meaningful example of industry collaboration to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

    Mr. Aitken, thank you again for writing.


    Monte McNaughton
    Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development

    Set aside 56-minutes of your day for COVID-19 prevention

    May 14, Electrical Business, Anthony Capkun

    “ECA for Greater Toronto did a survey of its own members of the time involved to undertake many of the prevention activities required to prevent the spread of COVID 19,” said Bob O’Donnell, and, “The results of our survey was 56 minutes per day for these activities, which is just over 12% direct impact on productivity.”

    By “prevention activities”, he is referring to additional measures such as jobsite screening, physical distancing, regular handwashing, sanitizing tools, equipment and PPE… all of which “are important activities that and must be done to ensure the safety of workers,” but also “factored into the cost of the work”.

    O’Donnell is the executive VP of the Greater Toronto Electrical Contractors Association, and he was commenting on Electri International’s recently published research, which determined that the electrical contracting industry’s response to coronavirus had a 12% impact on productivity, and that profitability was subsequently affected by up to 100%.



    ELECTRI International-Pandemics and Construction Productivity Report – Initial Findings

    This recent report from ELECTRI shows a productivity impact of 20% based on a random sampling of 75,000 labor hours with 12.4% related to productivity benchmarking (reduction in direct work productivity as a result of physical distancing, staggering shifts and increase in hygiene protocols).

    ELECTRI has several webinars available to contractors to on the study results, and one on how to calculate Change Orders as a result of new requirements placed on the job site to address COVID 19.

    To view ELECTRI videos click here.

    You can read the full report here.

    Health and Safety Update- Podcast with Tom Mackay, ECAO Director Health and Safety

    ECAO’s Tom Mackay recently participated in an Electrical Business Magazine Podcast on COVID 19. Tom reviewed the issue of how COVID 19 is spread and the procedures to follow to ensure worker and public safety.

    You can access the full podcast here

    The Financial Accountability Office (FAO) report on Ontario Labour Market.

    The Financial Accountability Office (FAO) has released a new report looking at Ontario’s labour market results for April, during the ongoing economic shutdown prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Ontario lost 689,200 jobs in April, bringing the province’s employment down to its lowest level since late 2009. As a result, Ontario’s unemployment rate climbed to 11.3 per cent in April, its highest level since June 1993.

    Nearly all the job losses were related to the government-directed closure of non-essential activities starting in mid-March. Since then, the FAO estimates that about 2.2 million Ontario workers – nearly one in three jobs in the province – have been directly affected through either job losses (1.1 million) or sharply reduced hours (1.1 million).

    To read the full report visit or click here.

    ECAO-3-may202020.jpgHow has COVID 19 Impacted Electrical Contractors

    This article is based on interviews with key electrical contractor association representatives and expresses their perspectives on how the industry is dealing with COVID 19 on its membership.


    Less than 5 Allowed WSIB Claims in Construction

    WSIB released its statistics for claims as a result of COVID 19. Not surprisingly, “Nursing and residential care facilities” had the largest number of claims.

    Construction does not appear on the list meaning that there have been less than five claims allowed in our industry.

    You can find the WSIB’s COVID19 claims data by clicking on the following link

    Recalling Non Union staff Guide for Employers

    A Guide for Employers on Recalling Staff. Bringing non-unionized employees back from temporary layoff. As the COVID-19 pandemic improves, many employers are planning to recall employees that have been laid off during this global health threat. 


    Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) Awards Nominations Deadline Extended to June 25

    The ESA Safety Awards are presented at the ESA AGM in September. Due to COVID 19, the deadline for submissions is extended to June 25.

    For more information the awards go here.


    Employers Prepare for New Normal
    COCA, LDCA, MNP, and BDC

    This webinar will review ECAO members rights and obligations in dealing with non-bargaining unit employees returning to work.

    When: Thursday May 21
    Time: 11:00 am
    Zoom meeting details:

    CLICK Here:

    Meeting ID: 835 0776 3811 Dial by your location 855 703 8985 Canada Toll-free

    The session will be facilitated by Zaheer Lakhani and Albert Campea, ECAO Affiliate Partners, Lakhani Campea LLP.

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    Overview of the session:


    The questions to be addressed are:

    1. When does the layoff become a deemed termination: topic would address issues such as the absence of layoff language in the contract, what happens when benefits are maintained during the layoff, the properly drafted employment agreement with an enforceable termination clause
    2. Can I choose who I want back at work and who should be terminated i.e. the risks of age or racial discrimination contrary to the Code in selecting who we want to come back to work
    3. How do I address employee fears about coming back to work: understanding the duty to accommodate in a post COVID workplace versus “everyone is now worried about their safety”
    4. The new normal of the workplace: Return of the cubicle walls, staggered shifts, working remotely

    League of Champions- “Back to Work-Now What” Re-Mobilizing: Are you ready?

    Many tradespeople are both eager and anxious about returning to work. As leaders, we need to ask ourselves, “are we ready to receive them?”. This session will focus on some human factors to consider to ensure a smooth and safe transition back.

    Thursday, May 21, from 3:30 to 4:45 pm.

    Our presenters will include:

    Norm Keith, Partner with Fasken. Robert Love, Director of Safety and Quality with Alberici Constructors ,Jason Bubba, Director of Training & Development with NORCAT.

    Register here to participate in this FREE webinar.

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