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ECAO Annual Conference Nashville

The Annual Conference is very close to being sold out, so if you are still thinking of going, act now and register here.

ECAO has made overflow hotel arrangements for the Westin Hotel, just a short walk away from the Marriott. If you need any more information, please contact Cathy Frederickson

ECAO Annual General Meeting (AGM)

The ECAO is now gearing up to promote our AGM in Niagara Falls on October 23, 2019.

This year we are partnering with our industry partners from the Joint Electrical Promotion Plan (JEPP). Our objective is to bring in more ECAO members together to better understand how JEPP initiatives promote our industry. Our evening reception on October 24, 2019 will be themed as “Great Gatsby”, and we are encouraging our members to dress in the 20’s theme. The Annual Meeting for JEPP is on October 23 and open to all ECAO members.


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 Lozelli at


ECAO is hosting a Health and Safety Management Seminar on June 5, facilitated by Tom Mackay. Tom has years of experience on safety management systems, and has worked exclusively in the construction industry with a focus on electrical safety. He is one of only 12 COR external auditors.

This is a complimentary session running from 9 am to 4 pm at the ECAO offices. If you are interested in attending please contact Cathy Frederickson at

Skills Ontario May 7, 2019

ecao-may8-7.jpgECAO was encouraged to hear from Minister Fullerton speaking at breakfast on Tuesday. She stated that the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities is committed to promoting an apprenticeship as a “pathway of choice” and relayed that it is “critical that we get this right”

This was the 30th anniversary of Skills Ontario competition & IBEW/CCO once again did an incredible job organizing the electrical line; network cabling activities and competition, along with many volunteers and local IBEW local staff.

If you have never been, be sure to check it out next year.


Ontario Construction Secretariat

ecao-may8-2.pngThe Ontario Construction Secretariat's Future Building 2019 will take place May 14th-16th at the EY Centre in Ottawa, Ontario. More than 7,000 students from Toronto and surrounding areas attended last year's event in Toronto! Stay tuned for more information about Future Building 2019.

 ECAO Awards and Scholarships


ECAO is now accepting nominations for the Douglas J. B. Wright Award. This award was created in 1992 by the Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario and the Ontario Electrical Construction Co. Ltd. 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.

Nominations are due to ECAO, by July 15, 2019. To download the application for click here.


Nominations are now being accepted for the R. H. (Hugh) Carroll Award. 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.

Nominations are due to ECAO, by July 15, 2019. To download the registration form click here.


In recognition of the importance of education and the need to have post secondary graduates enter into the construction industry, the Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario established a “Scholarship Program” in 2004 for children or wards of salaried employees of Association Member Companies. The objective of this program is to provide financial support for deserving children or wards of salaried personnel of member companies, for the purpose of attending recognized post-secondary institutions, and to encourage such individuals to attain a high level of academic achievement.

Please submit your application forms to ECAO by July 20, 2019 and you can down load the application form by clicking here.

 Industry News

Potential labour shortage in electrical industry highlights need for younger, more diverse workforce

ecao-may-3.jpgThe study from not-for-profit Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) was compiled over a two-year period, drawing on information from 140 stakeholders across the country.

It projects that 20,500 new employees will be needed in the electrical industry by 2022 to keep the lights on, with the demand largely driven by a need to replace people who are retiring.

Almost 107,000 people are employed directly in the industry in Canada, from generation to power delivery. Currently the industry is not as diverse as Canada, with women accounting for only one in four employees and visible minorities just over one in 10. It’s also older than average: Workers under age 25 account for less than one in 20 people.

The report also highlights a need for younger and more diverse employees: five per cent of the current labour force is under 25, five per cent is Indigenous and 26 per cent is female.


The Underground Economy in Ontario's Construction Industry: Estimates of the Revenue Losses to Governments - March 2019

Ontario Construction Secretariat

The underground economy in Ontario’s construction industry resulted in revenue losses to governments and government agencies of $1.8-$3.1 billion annually during the 2013-2017 period. This was an increase of approximately 30% over the estimated revenue losses for the 2007-2009 period.



Apply for funding under the Union Training and Innovation Program: Investments in Training Equipment

The Union Training and Innovation Program (UTIP) supports the Government of Canada's commitment to strengthen union-based apprenticeship training, innovation and enhanced partnerships. The program has two streams:

  • The Investments in Training Equipment Stream supports cost-shared purchases of equipment and materials for training (union-led).
  • The Innovation in Apprenticeship Stream supports innovative approaches to address challenges that limit apprenticeship outcomes (union involvement required).

The Government of Canada is accepting applications for the Investments in Training Equipment Stream.

Application period April 30 to May 29, 2019, at 12:00 p.m. (noon)

Click here to learn more and download the application form.

Retention, recruitment plans for future workforce need to evolve, says Panel


From left, founder of Freshco Mandy Rennehan, KickAss Careers founder and skilled trades advocate Jamie McMillan, CEO of Skills Ontario Ian Howcroft and CEO and president of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association Joe Vaccaro discuss what the key hurdles and possible solutions are to improving both the recruitment and retention of the future skilled workforce. This luncheon panel was held at the Economic Club of Canada

At a recent luncheon panel hosted by the Economic Club of Canada in downtown Toronto recently, Hajdu highlighted the federally funded Futures Skills Centre. 

Hajdu told the packed luncheon it is important to invest in unions and union training programs to ensure training addresses the latest technologies and equipment. Equally important is tapping underused indigenous peoples, women, immigrants and various minorities for workers.


Health and safety focus in Infrastructure Ontario (IO) procurement changes a concern: Industry

Infrastructure Ontario (IO) plans to make changes to its procurement model and some industry stakeholders are concerned that health and safety requirements could be at risk, adding they weren’t consulted.

At an event hosted by the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships (CCPPP) April 25, David Ho, executive vice-president of procurement and program management at IO, provided an update on the policy changes announced by Infrastructure Minister Monte McNaughton at the Infrastructure Investor Global Summit in Berlin in March.

Ho said the organization will be investigating changing its framework for the local knowledge provisions in the procurement process, which set off alarm bells for industry stakeholders. IO later told the Daily Commercial News, “as an initial step in this process, the health and safety components of evaluation that were previously in the local knowledge section have been entirely preserved and merely shifted to the construction experience and qualifications section of the RFQ.”


 Industry Events

Please find below the invite for "COR Ontario Top Buyers Summit", which will be held on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at the GTAA's FESTI (Fire & Emergency Services Training Institute) between 8 am to 11:45 am. The purpose of this COR Summit is to give information on what are the Top Buyers such as IO (Infrastructure Ontario), City of Toronto, GTAA, and Metrolinx, are expecting from their contractors and subcontractors with regards to COR Accreditation and Safety program requirements. IHSA has also been invited to present on COR timeline and the process.

Those interested in attending the Summit can register online through the invite or CLICK HERE to book their seat now. The members can also write to us at or Call Addy at 905 532 1488 Ext 212 to book their seat. You can also contact Cathy at 

**65 seats only** **First-Come-First-Served** basis


 Prompt Payment & Adjudication

Veteran U.K. adjudicator says Ontario got system right

There were numerous problems in the first years after the U.K.’s went into effect in 1998 as parties adjusted to the new “rough justice” that construction adjudication metes out, said Dr. Cyril Chern after a mock adjudication session held in Toronto April 30 as part of an Osgoode Professional Development conference.

“It was chaos,” said Chern. “No one knew what was going to happen. It developed early on, the court said, this is a fast, quick process, this is rough justice…basically the court held, early on, the adjudicator, once there is jurisdiction, can be wrong on the law and the facts and they are going to uphold it. You wanted it, you got it, it is rough justice, they said.”

The new adjudication system is one of three pillars of the new Construction Act in Ontario, with lien modernization provisions having taken effect on July 1, 2018 and prompt payment and adjudication regimes set to come on-stream next Oct. 1.


Prompt Payment and a Proper Invoice

As we inch closer to the last round of changes to the Construction Act in October of this year, the number and extent of questions about impact of those changes begins to amass. This memo tries to answer a few of those questions in respect of “proper invoices”. 

What is a Proper Invoice?
Please understand that to date, your invoices have generally been “proper”. Going forward, most of you will not need to make changes to the way you prepare and submit invoices; however there may be changes in the way you get to the point of submitting a “proper invoice”.
The changes to the Construction Act will include a series of new definitions, one of which is “proper invoice”:

“proper invoice” means a written bill or other request for payment for services or materials in respect of an improvement under a contract, if it contains the following information and, subject to subsection 6.3 (2), meets any other requirements that the contract specifies:

  1. The contractor’s name and address.
  2. The date of the proper invoice and the period during which the services or materials were supplied.
  3. Information identifying the authority, whether in the contract or otherwise, under which the services or materials were supplied.
  4. A description, including quantity where appropriate, of the services or materials that were supplied.
  5. The amount payable for the services or materials that were supplied, and the payment terms.
  6. The name, title, telephone number and mailing address of the person to whom payment is to be sent.
  7. Any other information that may be prescribed. 2017, c. 24, s. 7.

The foregoing items are those that are required to qualify as a “proper invoice”.
Much of the off-line discussion appears to be whether or not the largely employed practice of providing a draft progress payment for review by the payment certifier, would qualify as a “proper invoice”. That leads to the next question.

Dan Leduc is a partner at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP practising exclusively in the domain of construction law and may be reached at 

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