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ECAO 2019 Annual Conference September 25-29, 2019

Formal Annual Conference registration will be open soon along with our early bird contest for upgraded hotel rooms.




Ontario Bill- 47- Making Ontario Open for Business Act

Along with several changes Bill 47 repeals the personal emergency leave (PEL) in the Employment Standards Act and replaces it with three separate leaves: three unpaid sick days, three family responsibility leave days and two unpaid bereavement days. There is no prohibition on the requirement of medical documentation and no paid sick leave.


Ontario Bill- 66- Municipalities as Non-Construction Employers

TORONTO - The Provincial Government announced plans to make bidding on publicly-funded construction contracts open to all qualified companies.

Bill 66 follows Bill 47 in a broadly focused legislation called “An Act to Restore Ontario’s Competitiveness by Amending or Repealing Certain Acts.” It opens up twenty-four Acts with the theme of cutting red tape. The legislature has risen for the Christmas break and the Bill will be debated when they resume sitting on February 18.

This proposal would explicitly deem municipalities, school boards, hospitals, colleges, universities and other public bodies to be "non-construction employers" under the Labour Relations Act, 1995. If the proposed amendments are passed, they would not be subject to construction labour agreements. The government expects this legislation will increase competitiveness for broader public-sector construction projects. This will mean that publicly-funded project work will be open to all qualified contractors.


 Industry News

Ontario Carpenters’ Union plans court fights to preserve workers’ rights

The Carpenters Union had advocated for the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT), seeking compulsory certification status for its trade, only to see these visions dashed when the Conservatives took power in part with support from the Labourers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA), which feared OCOT enforcement actions would erode customary relationships within the working environment.

Now the Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario (CDCO) says the government’s decision to end construction union certification status for municipalities and other public agencies threatens long-standing collective bargaining agreements – and it is prepared to fight the new legislation all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.


IBEW Opens New Training Center in Sarnia


IBEW Local 530, based in Sarnia, Ont., has opened its first stand-alone training centre, supporting a broader selection of educational opportunities for apprentices and journeymen alike.

“We have a substantial amount of work coming to town, necessitating more training all of the time,” ways Wesley Segade, RSE, the local’s treasurer and training assistant.


Federal Government Launches New Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women


The new Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women provides $3,000 per year or level, up to a maximum amount of $6,000, to registered apprentices who have successfully completed their first or second year/level of an apprenticeship program in eligible Red Seal trades. This, in combination with the existing Apprenticeship Completion Grant valued at $2,000, could result in combined grant support of up to $8,000 over the course of their training. Women apprentices who progress in their training on or after April 1, 2018, may be eligible for the new grant.


Top 10 Construction Trends to Watch for 2019


Between trade battles over steel and aluminum tariffs and halts to major projects such as the Trans Mountain Pipeline, Canada needs to ensure investors still see it as a safe bet

There is no shortage of changes, both positive and negative, the industry faces as 2018 comes to a close.

On-Site caught up with Mary Van Buren, the president of the Canadian Construction Association, to discuss the trends the industry association will be watching closest over the next 12 months.

Click here to view the 10 items that should be on every Canadian construction firm’s laundry list in 2019


Manitoba reintroduces legislation in favour of ‘open shop’ tendering for public projects

Under the proposed public sector construction projects (tendering) act, public-sector entities, such as the Manitoba government, Crown corporations, school boards and regional health authorities, would be prohibited from using unionization status as a tendering requirement. The practice of employees paying dues to unions they are not members of would also be eliminated.


Renewable energy opportunities for Contractors

Opportunities for electricians in renewable energy


Photo courtesy IHSA

December 12, 2018 - On Oct. 31, National Energy Board (NEB) chair and CEO Peter Watson introduced a new outlook report with a speech to the Toronto Region Board of Trade. Discussing the report’s projections for future energy supply and demand at a national level (through 2040), he explained Canada’s ‘electricity mix’ is becoming greener, as renewable sources experience significant rates of growth and play an increasingly important role.

Specifically, given past and current trends, NEB’s analysts predict the sources that will meet Canada’s energy demand will become less carbon-intensive. While this mix will continue to be led by hydroelectric power generation, the board expects wind capacity to double and solar to nearly triple over the projection period.


Working safely with photovoltaic generation systems

Opportunities for electricians in renewable energy


A duty for precaution

With the rapid growth of the PV industry, occupational hazards have increased for workers involved in installing and maintaining PV system.

Under Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), by way of example, employers have a duty to take every reasonable precaution to ensure supervisors and workers are aware of the hazards associated with the handling, use and transport of the equipment in PV systems. This duty applies whether systems are installed on the ground or a rooftop, at an industrial or residential site. And as part of that duty, it is important for employers to establish safe procedures.


Infrastructure Project Owners Pay Contractors Faster with Builterra

Prompt Payment legislation drives the transformation of the contract administration process for civil engineers.


Review 2019 Work Trucks and Vans

Not long ago, pickup trucks and vans were seen only as dedicated work trucks. Those days are long gone, as with the rise of ‘crossovers’ and SUVs, many consumers want bigger vehicles. Now, for many, a pickup truck is simply ‘an SUV with a truck bed.’ 

Check out the reviews on work trucks and vans for 2019 by clicking here:


Affiliate Partners Highlights

‘Metrosphere is a full service LED lighting company. They offer a complete LED product line to improve light efficiency and reduce energy costs. Metrosphere also has an Electric Vehicle (EV) Charger division that both assesses a facilities requirements and installs EV chargers.


 ECAO Upcoming Events - Save the Dates

State of the Industry & Outlook Conference 2019

The Ontario Construction Secretariat will host its 19th annual State of the Industry & Outlook Conference on Thursday March 7th, 2019 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in downtown, Toronto.  This conference is must attend event for construction industry professionals who want to hear where the construction industry is headed in 2019.

The OCS State of the Industry & Outlook Conference is an informative and well-attended half-day conference where industry experts unravel the economic indicators and assess their impact on Ontario’s construction industry.

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Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario

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