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ECAO- JEPP 2020 Annual General Meeting September 16 & 17

ECAO continues to be optimistic that our Annual General Meeting will proceed this fall, but as we all know the current events may cause changes to scheduled events. Please stay in touch with ECAO to keep up dated on possible changes. In the meantime, we will continue to be hopeful that by September we can begin to regain a semblance of normalcy and we can look forward to meeting in Ottawa.

Building on last year’s successful Joint ECAO IBEW CCO Annual General Meeting, we are planning to do it again, and this time in our National’s Capital.


Join us in Canada’s Capital for our 2020 Annual General Meeting. Ottawa is a welcoming and beautiful city is a place where summer is a season of celebration, and the stories of Canada are revealed around every corner. This year our theme for our joint evening event is “Canadiana.”

Stay tuned for further information and registration details.

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ECAO Introduces New Team Addition Tom Mackay, Director Health and Safety


Hello ECAO members and partners, I would like to introduce myself to those of you I have not yet had the privilege to meet. My name is Tom Mackay and I am the new Health and Safety Director at ECAO. I am excited to be part of the ECAO team and look forward to working with all of our members, the IBEW/CCO, and other partners throughout Ontario.

As a Canadian Registered Safety Professional and National Construction Safety Officer, I have the technical knowledge and education to assist ECAO members with their health and safety needs. In addition to these designations, my practical and field experience will also help me to provide greater insight to our members.

My main priorities moving forward include, and are not limited to:

  1. Providing reasoned and practical information, assistance, guidance, leadership and timely advice to members regarding health and safety matters and emerging issues in these fields
  2. Assisting ECAO to become a successful approved training provider of the WSIB Excellence Program
  3. Representing ECAO members at various health and safety committees and lobby groups; including the Section 21 Provincial and the Labour Management Health and Safety Committee.
  4. Building a resource program that meets the COR guidelines including sample and template documents to replace the Ground program. Access to this program will help member companies develop and layout the content required for COR compliant programs.
  5. Working with our labour partners in any way I can; providing information, assistance and helping with consistent development and delivery of safety programs and training.

Please feel to reach out to me with any questions related to your health and safety program and goals. I look forward to interacting with all of you in the near future. In the meantime remember, safety doesn’t happen by accident.

Tom can be contacted at 

Ontario Extends Declaration of Emergency to Continue the Fight Against COVID-19

On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and with the approval of the Ontario legislature, the Ontario government is extending the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act for a further 28 days until May 12, 2020.


Attorney General (AG) Lifts Suspension of Limitation Periods for Release of Holdback Payments to Contractors

On April 9, the AG released notice that there will be a revision to one element of a the previous emergency order, O. Reg. 73/20 made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, which suspended limitation periods and procedural time periods retroactive to March 16, 2020.

The emergency order has been amended to lift the suspension of limitation periods and procedural time periods under the Construction Act. This will allow for the release of holdback payments to contractors and subcontractors in the normal course, helping to resolve a potentially significant cash flow problem as a result of the order for the construction industry.

The suspension will be lifted on April 16, 2020, to give the industry time to prepare for these changes. Once lifted, parties will have the same amount of time to meet a deadline that had been remaining before the suspension began on March 16, 2020.

ECAO previously wrote the Ontario government urging them to revise this order to ensure contractors and subcontractors will continue to receive their holdback payments as currently prescribed under The Construction Act.

Please find the ECAO letter here, and the full AG Announcement here.

Plan Group Provides Assistance for Electrifying Temporary COVID -19 Hospital

Despite the challenging circumstances, Plan Group worked on providing power, generator back-up power, nurse call station, lighting, and data communications cabling for a 93-bed temporary structure being erected on the JBH site in Burlington. David Scott from Plan Group stated, “We had a team of 22 electricians along with a Project Manager working around the clock, 24/7, in order to get the temporary hospital up and running in 14 days, ready to open on April 10.” At the same time, IBEW Local 105, which represents electricians working on the site, announced they would be donating funds to support JBH hospital staff and others in need.

BLT Construction is building a prefab pandemic response unit at the Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington, Ont., to increase capacity to care for patients with COVID-19. Plan Group was electrical contractor on this job.


Photo courtesy Joseph Brant Hospital Twitter

ECAO Webinar with Dan Leduc Part 2 Construction Contracts During COVID 19

Please join us for Part 2 of Dan Leduc’s webinar updating ECAO members on current developments as they relate to construction contracts.

When: Friday April 17
When: 11:00 am.

Zoom invitations will be sent out to ECAO Members, and all other interested attendees should contact Cathy Frederickson at 

ECAO Letter to the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) on Permit Fees

ECAO has recently written to ESA to obtain clarification on permit fees that have been paid by contractors, where work has not been completed due to work stoppage. Contractors are being charged fees for permits, or the extension of permits, for jobs that have been cancelled or postphoned.

ECAO has asked for the following:

  • Put “on hold” any such fees retroactive to the date of the above-referenced Government of Ontario’s actions, and not to be required until after the lifting of those actions.
  • That any permits taken out (and fees paid) up to, and including, the date of the Government of Ontario’s actions be extended until the lifting of those actions. Further, the time remaining on any such permit shall begin anew upon the lifting of the Government of Ontario’s actions.
  • Permits, temporary and otherwise, shall continue for projects considered essential workplaces (as should the fees related to those “continuing” permits).
  • Any further action required by ESA deemed necessary to reflect the suspension of the majority of electrical work for which permits are required in the Province of Ontario.

To read the full ECAO Letter, click here.

Electrical Safety Authority Response to COVID-19

Information on recent ESA announcements on Master Electrician Examinations and waiving fees for emergency health care facilities can be found here.


Contractors facing tough choice after province limits construction activity


The province is limiting the types of construction projects that can remain in operation — even with physical distancing measures in place — after public health officials released projections Friday showing previous actions taken by the Ontario government had dramatically reduced the number of deaths and confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Only construction related to health care and critical infrastructure, residential projects with permits, and home renovations already in progress can continue after midnight April 6.


Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS) Economic Outlook


The OCS has released a summary of key economic impacts which Statistics Canada has released that will give us the first indications of how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted Ontario’s economy and construction industry.

Some preliminary highlights:

  • ICI Permit Values Down By 44% In March
  • Ontario Lost More Than 400,000 Jobs in March, Losses in Construction Yet to Be Seen



Ontario Accelerates Essential Construction Projects During COVID-19

In response to the outbreak of COVID-19, Ontario is extending construction hours for essential construction projects, like critical projects in the health care sector, to 24 hours a day. Work on new hospital builds, expansions, and COVID-19 assessment centres will be able to continue any time of the night or day in order to help accelerate the construction of these important projects and enable employers to take additional steps to protect the health and safety of workers on these job sites.

Premier Doug Ford, Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, announced extended construction hours and other measures to keep Ontario workplaces safe.


Certi-Fire Fire Alarm & Protection Certification Program for Distant Learning Level 2 Coming This Spring

Registration for Level 2 Distant Learning course is now open! The start date of the course will be on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at 6:30 pm. It will take 3 hours per week and up to 12 weeks to complete the course depending on the participants’ schedule. There will be also a hands-on portion taking place on weekends. Participants are required to have an internet connection and get connected via Google “Go to Meeting” by using a computer, laptop or tablet with a camera and microphone attached. Spots for this course are limited, so please book quickly!

For more information on the Distant Learning course, please visit or contact our Certi-Fire Program Administrator at 1-800-387-3226 or email at

Affiliate Partners Update and PPE Supplies:

ecao5apr142020.pngIn response to ECAO contractor members looking for PPE and to get supplies for their workers once they return to work, RS Breakers is offering to provide members with KN95 masks for cost at $ 4.50 each.

For more information please contact Nathan H Yabas 


Hospitals setting up emergency screening facilities for the COVID-19 virus require a tremendous amount of power, which can overwhelm their older equipment and power distribution centers. RS Breakers & Controls has helped multiple facilities in Ontario get their screening facilities up and running by quickly providing like for like swaps for obsolete molded case circuit breakers and MCC buckets.

RS Breakers & Controls is discounting prices on inventoried items for healthcare facilities, essential businesses, apartment dwellings, or simply anyone in need. In these times, there is no reason why a facility should go without.

How can RS Breakers & Controls help ECAO members?

  • Parts swaps (like for like) for emergencies with included test reports. This will limit employee exposure, lower required work, and ensure parts are reliable – extending the life of system operations.
  • Discounts on all in-stock inventory.
  • Massive supply of the right parts that require little to no modifications, allowing electricians to be armed with emergency solutions.
  • Providing products to ANSI & CSA standards (certification will be supplied for each product that requires this).
  • Complete inspection/test of reconditioned products that are required, whether they are supplied by RS or not.

For more information please contact Rishi Sudan, President direct: 647-280-7376 or Joe Richards, Sales and Operations Manager: 416-616-6080

Driving Downtown Toronto COVID 19

Do you remember what a night mare it was to drive downtown Toronto. Well if you have a few minutes take a look at what it looks like now. We will get back to normal one day, and when that day comes, we might be grateful for downtown traffic.

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