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Jail Time and $50,000 in Fines for Illegal Electrical Work

Mississauga, ON (July 27, 2017) – On July 24, 2017 a contractor was sentenced in a Burlington, Ontario court to five days in jail and was ordered to pay $40,000 in fines plus a 25 per cent ($10,000) victim fine surcharge for doing electrical work illegally.

David John, who has been known to operate as Kenchiku Developments Inc. and Skookum Developments, was found guilty on two counts of working without an electrical contractor’s licence and two counts of failing to apply for an electrical inspection. The charges were related to illegal electrical work done in homes in Milton – specifically the installation of interior and exterior pot lights.

The Justice of the Peace was very clear in her sentencing that putting public safety at risk will not be tolerated. The severity of the fines and jail time sends a clear message that electrical work in Ontario must only be done with an electrical contractor’s licence and in compliance with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code.

“Unfortunately it has become too common to see advertising on flyers, signs and online for electrical work particularly pot light installations,” says Scott Saint, Chief Public Safety Officer, Electrical Safety Authority. “Homeowners need to know that electrical work done outside the law – even for something as commonplace as pot lights – is a safety risk if not done properly, and it’s illegal.” “We are very pleased to see that the court has sent a strong message which we hope will deter others in the underground economy who consider working outside the law,” adds Saint.

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No ESA wiring fee increases for second year in a row

After analysis and review of financial and stakeholder considerations, ESA has determined that it will not require an increase to wiring fees this upcoming year. This will be the second year in a row that wiring fees have not been raised.  We are always mindful of the impact of fee increases on all stakeholders. If you have any questions, please contact 


New MOL guideline distinguishes between employee and independent contractor

The Ministry of Labour has just published a new guideline outlining the key differences between an employee and an independent contractor.

On June 1, 2017, the Ontario government introduced legislation, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017. If passed, the proposed legislation would prohibit employers from misclassifying employees as "independent contractors”.

The guideline is available online at:

If you have a question about employment standards and would like to speak to one of the Ministry of Labour’s experts, call the Employment Standards Information Centre at: 416-326-7160 (Greater Toronto Area) | 1-800-531-5551 (Toll-free) | 1-866-567-8893 (TTY for the hearing impaired). Information is available in multiple languages.

Murray resigns as Environment Minister, Milczyn promoted to Cabinet

Glen Murray has stepped down from his position as Minister of Environment and Climate Change in the Ontario government. According to the Toronto Star, he will stay on for a few weeks as the MPP for Toronto Centre “to wind down some local constituency business” before resigning from the Ontario Legislature. The Star article stated that “Murray is leaving for a high-profile job outside politics” information which the publication got from an unnamed insider. 

In a minor cabinet shuffle Monday morning, Premier Wynne plugged the hole created in her Cabinet by Murray’s departure with the MPP for Newmarket-Aurora, Chris Ballard. Ballard. Ballard was moved over from his former role as Minister of Housing and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy.

Promoted to Cabinet to become the new Minister of Housing and the Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy is the MPP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore, Peter Milczyn. Prior to this promotion Milczyn had an active role in the affairs of the government and the Legislature as PA concurrently to Infrastructure, Labour and Francophone Affairs, as the chair of the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs and a member of the Standing Committee on Estimates.

Q&A: Better Quality Control Through Mobile Tech

Smartphones, tablets, and cloud-based software are becoming standard in the construction field. And while these mobile technologies are beneficial at all stages of a project, they are particularly vital to ensuring the quality of the final product.

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Mid-Year Update: ICI Building Permits on the Rise

In Central Ontario’s eight metropolitan areas, total ICI permit values were up by 29% overall in January-May compared to the same period in 2016. Guelph and Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo both had very slight declines in total ICI permit values while ICI permit values increased in the other six metropolitan areas. At the sector-level, industrial, commercial and institutional permit values in Central Ontario’s metropolitan areas had similar increases overall (34%, 23% and 36%, respectively). Industrial permit activity in Hamilton increased dramatically, driven by the Woodward Avenue Wastewater Treatment Plant project, while industrial permit values in Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo, St. Catharines-Niagara and Brantford were strong as well. In Toronto, Oshawa and Barrie, commercial permit values were up by over 35%. Institutional permit values more than doubled in Barrie and Hamilton, and more than tripled in Guelph and St. Catharines-Niagara.

New research supports “union safety effect” 

Research conducted by the Institute for Work and Health (IWH) supports the idea that unionized industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) construction workplaces are 23% safer when compared with non-union job sites.  Funded by the Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS), the ground breaking and scientific research suggests the existence of a “union safety effect”, confirming that union values and practices generate better health and safety outcomes.

Many contractors are now exploring participation in the Certificate of Recognition (COR™) program, offered through Ontario’s Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA).  It has the authority to grant such certificates and to conduct safety audits with an aim to help drive positive workplace behaviours and practices.  COR™ is commonly required on many public and private sector construction projects in Ontario.

Providing ECAO members with WSIB claims management services

ECAO partnered with TeksMed Services Inc. in 2009 to provide its members with a no-cost solution to WSIB claims management. TeksMed offers expedited private health care options to injured workers, in-person representation at ARO and WSIAT hearings, as well as complete administrative support and management of WSIB claims.

For more information, or to take advantage of these services, contact Tanya George at 416-491-5444/ or call toll free 1-877-850-1021.

Office of the Employer Adviser

Do you know that the Office of the Employer Adviser provides expert advice to all Ontario employers on WSIB and unfair reprisal allegations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act?

They also represent employers with less than 100 employees with appeals at WSIB and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT). Check out their website for more details, including occasional education seminars and webinars to inform and educate employers. 

MOL Electrical Hazards Blitz results

The Ministry of Labour (MOL) publishes results from blitzes on their website for review. Late last year, MOL inspectors conducted 1,108 field visits to 998 workplaces across Ontario, and issued 2,801 orders and 24 requirements, including 173 stop work orders. Most orders were for violations involving PPE and clothing, followed by fall protection. Visit their website for a full summary of their blitz results.  

ECAO hosting open house on Sept. 20

Please join us for our open house on Wednesday September 20 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m at our office located at 10 Carlson Court, Suite 702. 

Appetizers and drinks will be served. All ECAO members, associate members and industry partners are invited. Please RSVP to

The Boss Man – Nic Bittle – to Speak at ECAO in September

ECAO 05 08JUN2017.jpgAs part of its 2017 Professional Development Series, ECAO is pleased to welcome Nic Bittle on Sept. 28. He will be presenting A FOREMAN’S FIELD GUIDE TO DEVELOPNG YOUR WORKFORCE – What Smart Leaders are doing to Develop Their Workforce.

Nic Bittle is the founder of Work Force Pro and works with contractors that want to prepare and develop their workforce to lead with impact, act like a pro, and perform at their best on a daily basis. Nic is author of three books, Small Business, BIG Mistakes, Perform Like the Boss! & Good Foreman; Bad Foreman.

Cost for each seminar is $525 tax included. Seminars run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch will be provided.  Space is limited so register today. Visit ECAO website for more information.

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Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario

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