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Fall 2018 in Blue Mountain!

This year, make the most of your fall days at Blue Mountain. In celebration of ECAO's 70th anniversary, the reception will be organized in a 70's theme followed by Annual General Meeting.

To Register- Click Here 
To Book your Hotel Room - Click Here 
For More Details - Click Here 



Ontario lawyers bracing for building law changes

The new law has a broader reach and is designed to focus attention on reducing fights and speeding up payments.
July 3, 2018 | Written by Jim Middlemiss

The New Construction Lien Act, will have a much broader reach and is designed to move the industry off its warring ways and focus attention on reducing fights and speeding up payments within the “construction pyramid,” so that money flows down faster from the project owner through the general contractor and on to the various subtrades.


Slow payments to sub-contractors costs the industry $40 billion a year.

In a recent US survey done by Contract Simply (construction loan software company) revealed that late payments from customers cost the commercial construction industry $40 Billion annually and represents an add-on to total project costs of 3.3%.

Slow payments have caused a strain on working capital for contractors who typically employ fewer than 20 people. These small businesses must float payments for other financial obligations while waiting for disbursement from general contractors, which results in subcontractors feeling like they are financing projects.


ECAO04072018a.pngTools and Trouble – Cell Phones in the Work Place

Not too long ago, a common labor relations question was, “How can I prevent workers from bringing their cell phones with them to the job?” Now, we are more often asked about mandating the use of cell phones to take advantage of a variety of apps and online tools for communications, time keeping, productivity, and more. 

The first cell phone appeared in 1973. By 1998, there were 69 million in use. In June 2011, the Washington Post reported that there were more cell phones in use in the United States than there were people in the country. By 2013, more than 90% of adults in the US used cell phones, with 96% of those 18 to 44 years old having a cell phone.

As cell phone use has grown, so have questions about the best practices and problems associated with that use.


ECAO04072018b.jpgDenley: A jolt of reality for the electric car industry
OTTAWA CITIZEN | Randall Denley

It is difficult to persuade consumers to buy a product they don’t want, but that doesn’t stop government and its agencies from trying to jumpstart the electric car industry. The Ontario government has been throwing subsidies at electric cars since 2010, with its latest program offering up to $14,000 in rebates. It also spent $20 million installing public charging stations. Despite that, electric cars make up about one per cent of sales.

The provincial subsidy is almost certain to end under the new Progressive Conservative government, but that hasn’t dented the enthusiasm of the folks at Hydro Ottawa. They are about to roll out a new program that will subsidize electric car chargers for 100 lucky Ottawans.


Regulatory Update

Regulatory changes threaten public and worker safety

A provision in an Ontario budget bill – Bill 70, Schedule 17 – weakened the enforcement capability of the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT), which had the mandate of weeding out uncertified workers. This change opened the door to uncertified workers doing the work of such compulsory trades as electricians, plumbers and pipefitters.

Pending changes to the classification of trades may permanently dilute the trades, lower training standards and compromise public and worker safety. This responsibility was also removed from OCOT and transferred to an unaccountable body with no skilled trades background. Electricians belong to a skilled trade that’s highly respected, and for good reason. As part of a demanding five-year program, apprentices must complete three terms of in-school training and 9,000 hours of work under the watchful eye of supervising journeypersons.


ECAO04072018C.pngChanges to Defect Notices as Appealable Orders

As of July 3, 2018, ESA has added an escalation process to provide both stakeholders and ESA more time to discuss issues when they arise. Defect notices are no longer considered to be appealable orders after this date.  

The process before July 3, 2018 provided only 15 days for the person to whom the defect was issued to decide whether or not they wanted to appeal the defect.  The escalation process provides a more practical approach that focuses on resolving the issue. The escalation process gives the person to whom the defect was issued an opportunity to discuss the issue first with the Inspector, Senior Inspector, Technical Advisor and General Manager to attempt to resolve the issue.  If the matter cannot be resolved, the General Manager will issue an Order for the defect to be remedied. This Order can be appealed.  The escalation process is currently used to successfully resolve contentious matters.  This change acknowledges that effort and also provides more time for resolution.

Any defects issued prior to July 3, 2018 will follow the former process.

The appeals process does not involve any matters that fall under ESA’s complaint process (e.g. complaint regarding ESA’s process for inspection, inspector behaviour, ACP status, etc.).

For any inquiries and FAQs, please visit the Appeals section of ESA’s website:  

Will Doug Ford offer deliverance from Ontario’s apprenticeship ratio fiasco?

There must be something very special about being an apprentice in Ontario, something totally unique in the entire country that requires overwhelming supervision of those apprenticing in a skilled trade. How else to explain Ontario’s out-of-step ratio requirements for apprentices and journeymen? Many hope that Ontario’s new Progressive Conservative government under Doug Ford will act on what it has been saying in opposition for years and fix the problem, and maybe disband the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) at the same time.

A national comparison of apprenticeship programs across the 13 provincial and territorial jurisdictions reveals that most are fairly close in key areas. For example, most require four terms of training with total training overall of 7,200 hours. (British Columbia, the Yukon and North West Territories are slightly less.)


Occupational Health and Safety

WSIB Rate Framework Policy Changes Approved

WSIB has recently posted the final version of most of the policies to implement the new funding framework. The most significant changes are as follows:

  • An expanded list of ancillary activities
  • The rules for multiple premium rates based on meeting one of two significant business tests
  • An expanded associated employer test which will treat many companies as associated that are not currently so defined
  • Expanding the premium adjustment time period for most retroactive premium adjustments from the current year plus 2 years (up to 3 years retro) to current year plus 3 years (up to 4 years retro)

The policies are expected to come into force on January 2020. The Office of the Employer Advisor will be doing a dedicated webinar for our ECAO members.

The Policies can be found here on the WSIB website.


ECAO04072018d.jpgAdministrative monetary penalties expanding Canada Labour Code amended to allow AMPs up to $250K

Administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) are used by governments as a means of enforcement and to encourage compliance with regulatory requirements. They are used to address non-compliance with various regulatory regimes including trade and border, environmental and financial legislation. In recent years, though, AMPs have also proliferated as an enforcement tool to regulate workplace health and safety.

Most jurisdictions in Canada principally enforce health and safety through prosecution, but some have added AMPs to augment the enforcement arsenal. 

In June 2017, the Canada Labour Code was amended to include AMPs, up to $250,000, as a sanction for non-compliance with health and safety requirements. Their implementation is still underway but having the second highest potential penalty of any Canadian jurisdiction suggests that AMPs could feature prominently in enforcement.


ECAO Scholarship – Nominate a Student Today

In recognition of the importance of education and having post-secondary graduates enter into the construction industry, ECAO established a Scholarship Program in 2004. The program provides financial support for deserving students attending recognized post-secondary institutions.

The deadline for applications is July  20,2018. Visit the ECAO website for more information and the application form.

ECAO’s Douglas J.B. Wright Award Nominations

The Douglas J. B. Wright Award pays 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. 

Submit your nomination by July 20, 2018 to: 

The Douglas J. B. Wright Award Committee
c/o Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario
10 Carlson Court, Suite 702, Toronto, ON  M9W 6L2
Fax:  416-675-7736 or email:

Visit the ECAO website for more information and the application form.

Last year's winner, John Wright

Member Benefit Highlight


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Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario

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