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ECAO Annual Industry Conference Prague May 24- May 29, 2020


Registration for the ECAO Prague Conference is picking up momentum as we are only a few months away from the event. Rooms at the Mandarin Oriental are limited so we are encouraging those who are interested in joining ECAO Members, Affiliate Partners and Industry Partners for a great event, please register today at

Winner of the ECAO Early Bird Draw

We are pleased to announce that Michael Tatasciore, Construction Manager/Electrical Supervisor, S.&T. Group, has won the Early Bird Draw for a room upgrade at the Mandarin Oriental.

ECAO Hugh Carroll Safety Awards- Applications Now Open

The nomination process for our Safety Awards is now open! The deadline is now February 28, 2020.

ecao2feb52020.pngThe R. H. (Hugh) Carroll Award was 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.

Past safety awards presentations were made at the ECAO Annual Meeting, but this year we are featuring a dedicated day to present these awards to winners and elevate the importance of occupational health and safety in the construction industry.

The Safety Awards Luncheon will be held on May 5, 2020, to showcase the winners and their commitment to a positive safety culture. The location has not been determined. ECAO hopes to also have keynote occupational health and safety speakers following the awards presentations.

The application form can be found at the ECAO website here.


ECAO Affiliate Partner 4S Consulting Offering Exclusive Program

ECAO Contractor Members can get WSIB rebates under the new Safety Excellence Program. If you are interested in being a part of an exclusive group of ECAO electrical contractors in helping you get your 2019 rebate, please contact Cathy Frederickson at

4S Consulting is offering to host 3 half-day seminars for contractors to help them prepare the applications for the rebate.

Dr. Awad Hanna Seminars on Construction Project Management and Top Habits of High Performing Foremen

Dr. Awad Hanna is back again this year in February to conduct his two-day Construction Project Management course and Top Habits of High Performing Foremen. 

Please contact Cathy at All seminars will have a continental breakfast, working lunch and free parking.

  • February 26, Top Habits of High Performing Foremen
  • February 27 & 28, Construction Project Management

Location: ECAO Offices, 10 Carlson Crt., Suite 702, M9W 6L2 | Time: 8:30 am to 4:00 pm


Minister McNaughton announces $100m for pre-apprenticeship

Ontario is tackling shortages in the skilled trades by supporting pre-apprenticeship projects that will prepare over 100 people in London for good jobs and careers. 

"In London and throughout the province, there are thousands of jobs that go unfilled," said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. "Those are paycheques waiting to be collected. But the workers aren't there. My mission is to bridge that skills gap in London and throughout the province. Today's announcement is the next step."



Province tackles skilled trades gap


Canadore motive power students Deni Cheechoo, left, and Kerrie Coon, and shop technologist Raymond Seguin, right, chat with Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli and Ontario Minister of Labout, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton, Monday, at a funding announcement at Canadore's Commerce Court Campus. PJ Wilson/The Nugget

Canadore College will receive almost $600,000 from the provincial government to help reduce the skilled trades gap in the area.

In an announcement at the Commerce Court Campus Monday, Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, said the funds will help train 63 people for local high-demand careers in the skilled trades.

“Last year there were 7,700 vacant jobs in the North Bay area” and about 200,000 across the province because there were not the trained people available to fill those positions.


Unions assemble to share on connecting with future workers


Chris Campbell, business representative, Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario, welcomed attendees to an open house information session hosted by the Carpenters’ Local 27 in Vaughan, Ont. Jan. 20. 

Paul Daly, vice-president and local union coordinator, Carpenters’ Local 27, said community outreach is key to getting people into the trades.

“We’ve got some industry leaders in this room that are going to tell you what the demands are, the requirements, what it is to go through the apprenticeship programs,” said Daly. “We look at it as this is a community as a whole. This is what we needed to do a long time ago is bring everybody under the same roof and say, ‘what can we do collectively to make this work’ rather than individuals working out there trying to get success in their own group and in their own community.”

Steve Martin, business manager, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 353 recalls a time when trades reps went to high schools to talk to students about the trades.

“We have failed as a community to keep this type of work open in our school system,” said Martin. “You look now and the average age coming in is around 27. That’s usually a second career… That’s not what we need. We need people to know now that they want to come in. We have great jobs, great benefits, great futures.”



ESA warns of electrical risks related to new TikTok challenge

Following a number of videos uploaded to the social media platform TikTok depicting the “outlet challenge,” the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) has issued a warning to all Ontarians to not participate in this dangerous activity or share the challenge online, as it could lead to electrical fires and pose a serious safety risk.

The “outlet challenge” involves partially plugging a phone charger into the wall and then putting a penny onto the exposed part of the prongs, which results in smoke, sparks and, in some cases, fire.



IHSA rolls out new two-day, entry-level construction safety program


The Ministry of Labour has introduced a new standard for entry-level safety training for the construction industry. The IHSA has taken its content and created its own entry-level construction program. The two-day program is now being rolled out throughout the province.

Just some of the subject matter includes hazard identification and control, personal protection equipment, occupational health, fall protection, electrical hazards, and materials handling and hoisting and rigging.

Specifically targeted to new and entry-level workers and individuals considering a career in construction, the program will highlight some of the common hazards on the job site and the measures which can be taken to prevent injury and illness says IHSA president and CEO Enzo Garritano.

It’s an awareness-only program and does not certify participants for work in any construction setting requiring certification. Job-specific training must also be conducted by the employers, he points out


Ideal Networks’ donations support electrician training in Toronto

Ideal Networks has donated 26 testers to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 353 Education and Training department in Toronto to support its educational programs.

The donation included VDV II cable verifiers, NaviTek NT network troubleshooters, SignalTek NT network transmission testers and SecuriTest IP CCTV testers for use in Network Cabling Specialist (NCS) trade school and night school programs.


Energy Storage

One topic that continues to have growing prominence is the energy storage market. It has been suggested by Bloomberg NEF (BNEF) that the global energy storage market will grow to a cumulative 942GW/2,857GWh by 2040 and will attract $620 billion in investment over the next 22 years. BNEF predicts that the leading countries will be China, the U.S., India, Japan, Germany, France, Australia, South Korea and the U.K.

The regulatory landscape for energy storage in Canada has been relatively quiet. In May 2019, Energy Storage Canada (ESC) released their presentation titled "Maximizing Value and Efficiency for Ratepayers through Energy Storage." The roadmap sets out "a coherent plan to reduce barriers and deliver greater ratepayer value for Ontario consumers and businesses at the transmission level, distribution level, and behind-the-meter in commercial, industrial and residential settings." ESC outlined six roadmap actions to maximize the value of energy storage, as well as a timeline for when these actions should be completed in order to advance the energy storage market in Ontario.


Electrical Industry Playbook: An Introduction to the Market, its Players, and the Business

‘Talent Availability’ has been identified by our membership as the top game-changer affecting the industry. EFC continues to develop programs to assist members with talent attraction, engagement, and development.

The Electrical Industry Playbook is an online training module for new employees to help jump-start their understanding of the electrical market so they can successfully navigate the industry. This module is also an important resource for existing, tenured employees to help further sharpen their skillsets and advance their industry knowledge.

Empowering your team with training resources provide tangible benefits to you and your team, and ultimately, to your partners and customers.


PODCAST: Data sharing protects workers


Steven Thrasher of Plan Group left, and Erin Oliver of Modern Niagara join OHS Canada editor Marcel Vander Wier in the studio for a podcast discussion in Toronto, Jan. 10. (Jim Stubbington/Annex Business Media)

OHS Canada magazine is proud to unveil its new podcast, titled Safe Zone.

Our January episode dives into what some are calling the dawn of a new era in workplace health and safety — a time in which organizations are partnering to share data in an effort to better forecast risk and ultimately protect workers.


Growth of electric vehicle ownership poses challenges for power grid


As automakers prepare to unveil more than 120 new electric models in the next three years, the utilities supplying the power for those vehicles are wrestling with just what all this means for the power grid.

Complicating matters are the unknowns of how quickly consumers will adopt EVs and where those vehicles might cluster in a city’s neighbourhoods.

“I don’t think the challenge will be capacity, but more one of distribution,” said the University of Windsor civil engineering professor Rupp Carriveau, director of the school’s Environmental Energy Institute.

“There may be plenty of capacity, but they’ll also need to know where those EVs are clustered. You need that detailed knowledge because the transformer for a neighbourhood might not be able to handle it.”



Electricity Human Resources of Canada Awards of Excellence

Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) will host its annual Awards of Excellence on February 19 at theVantage Venues, 150 King Street, 16th Floor, Toronto. These awards celebrate the extraordinary achievements while giving national recognition to employees, teams, or leaders who are making a positive and tangible impact on the workforce, awards are given in the following categories:

  • Leader of the Year
  • Emerging Leader of the Year
  • Innovation in HR Practices – Educational / Training Institution Award
  • Innovation in HR Practices – Employer Award
  • Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award


For more details and to register, go to


Harassment in the Workplace 

You are invited to attend this session which will review what an employer’s duties and responsibilities are in relation to workplace harassment.

Presented by: Zaheer Lakhani, Partner, Bandu Lakhani Campea LLP, and ECAO Affiliate Partner
When: March 26, 2020
Where: ECAO Offices, 10 Carlson Crt. Toronto
Time: Half day; timing to be determined.

For more information or to register, please contact Cathy Frederickson at

Surety Bonding Goes Online

The purpose of an electronic bond system represents a transition from paper to digital. This webinar is intended for sureties, brokers, and contractors (bidders/principals) who are interested in receiving a refresher or learning more about how e‐bonding works and how to respond to tender requests that require e‐bids and/or e‐bonds. Webinar:

Thursday, February 13, 2020, | 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. (EST)
Target Audience: Sureties, Brokers & Contractors (Principals & Bidders)


To register, click here

Presented by:


In Partnership With:


Questions? Call us at (905) 677‐1353 or email us at

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