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 ECAO News

ECAO Annual General Meeting

The ECAO Annual Conference is almost "sold out". If you are considering joining us in Nashville, please register here TODAY.


 Government Relations Update

COCA president lobbies prompt payment, adjudication deadlines during Construction Day event

ECAO’s Graeme Aitken and Jodi Travers recently attending the Council of Ontario Construction Associations ( COCA) Lobby Day on March 25 at Queens Park. The main issues discussed with MPs was the implementation of the Prompt Payment elements in the new Construction Act.

At the reception, Attorney General Caroline Mulroney said since being appointed, her office has focused on implementing key aspects of the new and modernized Construction Act.

“Our government is a staunch supporter of the improvements that this new framework will bring to Ontario,” said Mulroney. “With prompt payment, we are providing contractors and subcontractors clarity and certainty around when to expect payment, something fundamental that many other sectors take for granted. The new adjudication process will make the dispute resolution process faster and simpler and in turn prevent unnecessary delays on construction projects.”

She recognized the industry is closely watching the designation of the Authorized Nominating Authority (ANA) for the adjudication process.


ECAO Executive Director, Graeme Aitken addressed the reception by stating, ““My Number One goal is to build our community, to build the electrical contractors, labour partners, and affiliated-partners community.”


Bill 66 Restoring Ontario's Competitiveness Act- Passed 3rd Reading

The Ontario government has passed Bill 66, the Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act. The bill received Royal Assent on April 3.

As part of the legislation, the Labour Relations Act, 1995 will be amended to deem public bodies, including municipalities, school boards, hospitals, colleges and universities, as “non-construction employers.”

This means municipalities that are considered construction employers, and are restricted to accepting bids for infrastructure projects from certain unions they are affiliated with, will be able to open up the tendering process, allowing all qualified contractors to bid.

“Certain broader public-sector entities had become subject to the specialized construction labour relations model in the Labour Relations Act, 1995 and bound to collective agreements for the construction industry, even though they are not actually in the construction business,” explains the release.


Changes to Ontario's labour laws define region as non-construction employer

Trade unions that represent employees of these employers who are employed, or who may be employed, in the construction industry no longer represent those employees. Any collective agreement binding the employer and the trade union ceases to apply in so far as it applies to the construction industry.


 Occupational Health and Safety

Ministry of Labour OHS strategy sessions

The Office of the Chief Prevention Officer is seeking input for the development of the next provincial Occupational Health and Safety Strategy.

In Spring 2019, the Prevention Office will be carrying out public consultations through: In-person regional meetings hosted in Mississauga, Hamilton, London, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Kingston and Sudbury; and 

  • An online survey open to all members of the public on the Government of Ontario Consultations Directory. In April 2019, you will receive a follow-up email with a link to participate in the online survey consultation. 

For more details on dates, read more.

If you have questions or comments, please email the ministry at


Small Business Health and Safety Leadership Awards- Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)

Applications open April 2, 2019

WSIB is accepting applications for their Small Business Health and Safety and Safety Leadership Awards. The award highlights how small businesses make their workplaces healthier and safer – and who inspire their peers by example. The WSIB Small Business Health and Safety Leadership Awards recognize outstanding health and safety programs in small businesses with fewer than 50 employees.

Submit an application for your own business or one in your community or association. Talk about your health and safety practices, how you do inspections, deal with hazards and support employees to return to work.

The top three businesses will receive a cash prize - $5,000 (gold), $3,000 (silver), $2,000 (bronze) - and be recognized at the WSIB Annual General Meeting. The first place winner will also be featured in a promotional video on the WSIB website.

Read the Small Business Health and Safety Leadership Award Guidelines to find out if you qualify and to learn about the application process.

For more information:

Phone: 416-344-5533

 Industry News

Panel examines how to improve pathways to the skilled trades

wcao-april10-5.jpgBreaking down barriers for people to enter the skilled trades was the topic of discussion at a recent event focused on retaining employees hosted by the Residential Construction Council of Ontario and the Ontario Residential Council of Construction Associations.

Julia Zahreddine, site supervisor for Bridgecon Construction Ltd. who spoke on the panel says, “As someone new in the industry and the field I am interested in seeing what we can do to attract more young people, a more diverse group of people, more women into the field and understanding what the board of trade and other professionals are doing .” 

“I’m here because I had the opportunity to apply for a scholarship. Having the Heavy Construction Association come to my school and allowing us to apply and go through an interview process and be selected actually helped me realize what I wanted to do and gave me the opportunity. Otherwise, I’m not sure if I would be working in construction.”


Tackling the skilled trades shortage in Ontario

The growing adoption for automation, instrumentation and electronics has many employers searching for skilled trades workers to install, service and maintain new and complex equipment.

Increasingly in demand are tech-savvy electrical, mechanical and HVAC technicians, occupations that have evolved considerably in recent years. To help ensure employers have the skilled employees they need to grow, Ottawa’s La Cité is investing heavily in new technology. That includes a multi-million dollar grant to add equipment for its security and alarm systems lab, a state-of-the-art plumbing and hydronic lab as well as new electrical labs where students can learn how to master programmable logic controllers.


Report urges change of tune on recruitment and retention

A new report on how to improve recruitment and retention of youth in the construction industry in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) shows there is a high level of job satisfaction among workers, but significant challenges still remain.

“We need to leverage the industry’s massive network for recruitment,” said Dr. Jon Callegher, author of the report, adding this is one of the recommendations.


Ford government cancels electricity conservation programs

The Ontario government says centralizing delivery will save $442 million. Ontario's government has cancelled a number of electricity conservation programs, including one which offered pool owners a $400 rebate for upgrading to energy-efficient pumps.


Solar facility opens at former Ontario coal plant once the largest in North America

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) has formally opened a 44-MW solar park at the site of the former 4,000-MW Nanticoke coal-fired power generating station near Port Dover on the shores of Lake Erie.

The solar plant was built by PCL Construction on a 260-acre site, using 192,431 photovoltaic (PV) panels. The Independent Electricity System Operator awarded that project to OPG and its partners, the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corporation and the Mississauga of the Credit First Nation, in 2016.


What's in the 2019 Federal Budget for Construction?

National construction industry stakeholders differed sharply over the value of new government infrastructure and workplace training pledges as they digested Budget 2019, delivered by Finance Minister Bill Morneau March 19.

A key focus of analysis was the Canada Training Benefit (CBT), which will offer credits of $250 per year to workers between the ages of 25 and 64 to be put towards skills training, up to a lifetime limit of $5,000.

The government also announced $46 million in funding over four years for Skills Canada to develop a promotional program to attract young Canadians to the skilled trades and launched a new Apprenticeship Strategy with the mandate to address barriers to entry.

Arlene Dunn, director of Canada’s Building Trades Unions (CBTU) and Darrel Reid, vice-president of public affairs for the Progressive Contractors Association of Canada (PCA), disagreed on how effective the CBT would be.


 ECAO Affililate Partner


ECAO Day at the Races – The ECAO Board Invites Affiliate Partners for a night of fun, networking and racing. Please feel free to bring a companion as well.

Please RSVP to Audrey Lozelli at

Esso and Mobil Business Card


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Choose from our business card reporting options:

  • Esso and Mobil Business
  • Esso and Mobil Business Premier Plus

To learn more about the Esso and Mobil Business Card, read more below.


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