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ECAO Annual General Meeting Niagara Falls October 22 and 23rd, Hilton Niagara Falls.

ECAO Annual General Meeting Niagara Falls October 22 and 23rd, Hilton Niagara Falls.

For those of you who can’t attend our Annual Conference in Nashville, we would like to extend our invitation for you to join us at our AGM this fall. Click here for registration and hotel details.

We have had a tremendous response from our members, affiliate partners and industry partners in sponsorship. We have a few more sponsorship opportunities available and if you are interested in promoting your support to the ECAO please contact Cathy Frederickson.



Some of our eager members have asked about next year’s conference in Prague. Next year the conference will be held in May, so we are trying to promote this event early. Registration is now open.

For more details go here.


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ECAO Day at the Races


The ECAO Board Invites all ECAO Affiliate Partners and all local ECA Contractor Association management for a free night of fun, networking and racing. Please feel free to bring a companion as well.

For more information and to RSVP, please contact Audrey Iozelli at

Training and Education

OHS Enforcement and Penalties Webinar with Norm Keith- June 27

Norm Keith will be delivering a one-hour complimentary webinar/seminar on Occupational Health and Safety Legal Enforcement on June 27, at the ECAO Offices, 10 Carlson Court, Suite 702.

Norm will be reviewing some recent trends in OHS law enforcement, trends in Court and Tribunals and outlining some suggested OHS Risk Management strategies.

If you are interested, please advise Cathy Frederickson, at 

Let us know if you wish to attend in person or via webinar.

Managing workload and priorities with MS Outlook in partnership with Priority Management- August 13

This is not an ‘Outlook’ course! This powerful software is often under-utilized. Receive hands-on skills instruction to help you absorb proven techniques for a total time-management solution that integrates communications, tasks, activities, and planning. The seminar is on August 13 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm with an hour break at lunch. Participants need to have their own laptops and of course access to their Outlook. The seminar costs $550 per person.

This course will help you:

  • Create a consistent focus on priorities
  • Gain control of your inbox and e-mail
  • Improve your communications
  • Manage your time, tasks and activities
  • Use outlook with a ‘business planning’ approach

Take control of your inbox and make your software work harder for you. Check the course outline here: Working Smart +Microsoft Outlook Course Outline

Please contact Cathy Frederickson at to express your interest.

WSIB Rate Framework Webinar for ECAO Members- August 22

WSIB will be conducting a Rate Framework webinar exclusively for ECAO Members on August 22. This webinar will help you prepare for the new premium rate-setting model. It will provide you with more information about the new model, how to prepare for 2020, and give you a chance to ask questions about the coming changes.

Register here.

Feature Spotlight

Electrical Engineering Technician and Technologists Ready to Hire

The next generation of Electrical Engineering Technicians and Technologists are being trained right now at Centennial College. Our co-op Diploma Apprenticeship program is the only one of its kind in the province offering both apprenticeship training and a college diploma. To learn more Call: 416-289-5000, ext. 2356 | Email:

Read More


 Industry News

ECAO/IBEW-CCO Ontario Apprenticeship System

ecao4.pngAs many of you know, the Ontario government has introduced a new apprenticeship model that will impact skilled trades in Ontario. The IBEW CCO and the Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario have been working closely with other industry partners and the government to ensure that any new regulations or changes do not impact the integrity of the electrical trade or compromise public safety.

Please take the time to view the video below, and remember to speak to your local MPP over the Legislative Summer Break to bring your concerns to their attention. As contractors and journeymen we need to make sure the integrity of the electrical trade is maintained.

Click here to watch video. 


Ontario updates apprentice support and governance model for skilled trades


Last week, Ontario’s government passed the Modernizing the Skilled Trades and Apprenticeship Act, which updates the province’s skilled trades governance model and support for apprentices.

With the legislation, the government is establishing a new system delivery model to replace the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT). The minister of training, colleges and universities will now be responsible for regulating the trades and their associated skills, activities and ratios.

A registrar, meanwhile, will be responsible for issuing credentials and certificates to apprentices, overseeing the compliance framework (e.g. appointing inspectors) and maintaining a public registry of certified tradespeople. The trades will no longer be classified as voluntary or compulsory, but there will be a requirement for certification to perform restricted activities, with compliance and enforcement modernized through a risk-based approach to ensure safety.


Ontario Changing Apprenticeship and Skilled Trades System

ECAO6.jpgThe Ontario 2019 Budget sets out the government's plan to modernize the apprenticeship and skilled trades system. Ontario will introduce portable skill sets to help speed up certification and training in the skilled trades, without compromising health and safety. Portable skill sets are a new competency-based system to provide workers and employers with more flexibility. Currently, Ontario's tradespeople are required to master the full scope of a trade to complete an apprenticeship and obtain certification.

Portable skill sets also offer cross-skilling through the trades by letting apprentices, skilled tradespeople and employers to choose skills that they need for the jobs that are available today. Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and Bruce Power have estimated that between 2021 and 2026 they will need about 1,000 boilermakers.


Ontario’s ‘portable skill sets’ plan: will it help or hurt construction’s future?

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An Ontario government plan to radically transform the trades training framework by introducing “portable skill sets” is being hailed by contractor groups as a forward-thinking approach to the skills shortage, however it’s drawing fire from the unionized building trades.


Are you earning enough as an electrical contractor?


When you work in the electrical business, you may wonder if you are charging enough for your services, compared to your counterparts across the rest of the country. That’s why Electrical Business has launched a new, unique survey of our readers.

For what we believe is the first time in Canada’s electrical industry, we are endeavouring to learn about and compare salaries and charge-out rates across the nation, including those for commercial, industrial, residential and high-voltage construction and service. We also want to hear about your financial successes and frustrations.


Green Building: It’s not easy going green: For contractors, embracing the sustainable building ‘paradigm shift’ isn’t optional

A green design is one thing. Executing it is another.

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The drilling used for the building's geothermal boreholes

A typical construction firm that has years of experience with conventional structures won’t likely be in too far over its head when taking on a green build, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a learning curve.

“There’s going to be a lot of change in the next 10 years or so,” says Mark Hutchinson, vice-president of Green Building Programs with the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC). “We’re all headed toward significantly more energy efficient designs… All the technologies related to delivering a more energy efficient building are things that the design community, and then the contractor, are going to have to get familiar with.”


Working at Heights Training at Auto Manufacturing Plants Regulatory Amendments

This amendment to O. Reg. 297/13 – Occupational Health and Safety Awareness and Training reduces the regulatory burden on the automotive sector by creating a targeted exemption for workers employed directly by automobile manufacturing plant employers from Chief Prevention Office approved working at heights training.

For more information read the amending regulation, O. Reg. 191/19.

The amended regulation comes into effect: July 1, 2019

Section 7 of the Regulation is amended by adding the following subsections:

(3) Subsection (1) does not apply if the worker,

(a) is performing work on a project at a factory that manufactures or assembles automobiles; and

(b) is directly employed by the employer that operates the factory.

Getting your WSIB clearance when e-services are down

As some of you may know, WSIB e-services is working at a very slow pace. You may have seen the following message:

For construction employers, this most significantly impacts access to clearance, and if a principal can't pull a clearance, the contractor may as well shut its door.

Calling the WSIB is not typically a useful exercise, as there have also been complaints of long wait times to get to someone who can help. However, the WSIB website offers another option. WSIB has an employer accounts email address that promises to be more expedient. An employer or principal can follow the instructions below, offered by WSIB, for a clearance, and it should result in a speedier outcome.

If you need a clearance:

• Email here and include the following information: 

  •  legal name and account number of the contractor;
  •  legal name and/or account number of the principal; and
  •  a contact name, fax number or email address where you would like the clearance   sent.

• Or, call WSIB at 416-344-1000 or 1-800-387-0750 (TTY: 1-800-387-0050).

Are you ready for the WSIB’s new premium rate model?

Beginning on January 1, 2020, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) will introduce a new way of setting premium rates for almost 300,000 businesses across Ontario.

The WSIB’s new model will make it easier to understand how your business and other businesses are classified. It will also better reflect your individual claims experience and help businesses plan for the future by providing projected rate information.
“Businesses will no longer have to wait for rebates or surcharges,” said Dyck. “Our new model will introduce projected rates, providing your business with the future direction of your rates, up or down.” For more information or to sign up for one of WSIB’s monthly webinars and newsletter about the new premium rate-setting model, please visit this link or contact the WSIB here.

Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC)- Survey

EHRC is carrying out a study on The Changing Nature of Work: Digital Transformation & Innovation in the Electricity Sector. This survey is exploring what changes the electricity sector is expecting, how the industry is preparing for them, and what their impact may be on skills and jobs within the sector. EHRC have asked ECAO to notify our members so that they may participate in this survey.

The survey takes about 20 minutes to complete and they are offering 10 survey respondents $100 cash prizes, available just for sharing their thoughts. 

To complete the survey, click here.

If you are interested to participate or know of someone who prefers to provide insight via a telephone interview, please do not hesitate to contact Merertu Mogga Frissa, Program Manager, Diversity & Inclusion at 613.235.5540 ext. 237.

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