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View Online | Forward | Subscribe | Unsubscribe |  Media Kit December 18, 2020 classic_facebook.png   classic_linkedin.png   classic_twitter.png


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ecaonews-1-dec22020.jpgConversation with ECAO Executive Director, Graeme Aitken

As we close in on the end of 2020 I wanted to express my gratitude to our ECAO members and industry partners in working together with me and the ECAO staff during the COVID 19 Pandemic. It is through your meticulous attention to the health and safety of workers, and the community at large, that the spread of COVID has been minimal in the construction sector. 

While we see that 2021 will provide us hope in battling the Pandemic, it is important to remain diligent over the holiday season and beyond. Looking back on 2020, I see that some common phrases were used to address the “new normal” and these terms have been used in an “unprecedented” fashion. While these new words have been added to our day to day vocabulary, it is important to remember that communication has never been more important for our members and work teams. ECAO has undertaken to keep you all informed on issues impacting your businesses and your work lives and we hope to continue to do this in the New Year. Another 2020 communication change is the new email signature which now ends with “Stay Safe”.

On behalf of ECAO, our Executive, Board and the wonderful team at ECAO, I wish you a safe and happy Holiday Season. And here’s to an exciting, prosperous, and safe 2021.

Message from the Executive Director:

Click here


Electrical Contractors Association of Central Ontario Makes Christmas Turkey Donation

ECAO1_17122020.pngAgain recognizing those facing difficult times, we are pleased to announce that ECACO has donated $10,000 to the Kitchener-Conestoga Rotary’s Turkey Drive to help provide healthy meals over the holidays to those needing them.

More information about the Turkey Drive can be found here:


Auditor General Report on ESA Value for Money

ECAO2_17122020.jpgTORONTO — Ontario’s Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) has issued a statement saying it welcomes the Auditor General’s 2020 Annual Report, which included criticisms of the ESA along with praise, and said it will “review the recommendations carefully to ensure appropriate actions are taken.”

Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk stated in her report, released Dec. 7, that while electrical safety has increased in the province over the last 10 years, “the ESA has been unsuccessful in preventing illegal electrical installations, a problem that is widespread in Ontario.
The report says the self-funded, provincially mandated authority conducts many unnecessary inspections that do not improve public safety.

The audit found the inspections are done to generate revenue for the ESA to fund its workforce and operations, stated a release. The ESA also collects additional fees by offering inspections, safety training and other services outside of its legislative mandate. In 2019-20, the authority’s revenue was $113 million.

Value-for-Money Audit: Electrical Safety Authority (2020)

ECAO3_17122020.jpg(December 7, 2020)

Read the Report (pdf 11.8Mb)

News Release



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Safety body advised to redeploy resources

ECAO4_17122020.jpgOntario’s Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) has been advised to redeploy resources to the scrutiny of complex installations and follow-up inspections of unsafe conditions. A new report from the Auditor General of Ontario also urges the self-funded oversight body to crack down harder on marketers and providers of unlicensed electrical services.

While commending the general safety outcomes evident in a drop in reported electrical fires and injuries since 2010, the report concludes the ESA is unduly focused on collecting fees from routine inspections and has been slow to adopt technologies that could streamline service delivery and more rigorously monitor record-keeping and verification processes.

Although the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services requested the value-for-money audit, the Auditor General concludes it has neither adequately monitored nor supported the ESA’s ability to efficiently carry out its mandate to improve public electrical safety.


What four home insurers told the auditor general about illegal electrical work

ECAO5_17122020.jpgSome Ontario homeowners could collect insurance money on property claims even if the damage was caused by illegal electrical work, the auditor general suggests in her report released Monday.

Staff with the province’s Office of the Auditor General contacted four major home insurers in Ontario to find out if they would deny claims for damage caused by faulty electrical work that was not inspected by the Electrical Safety Authority.

“All four insurers informed us that they do not require that electrical installations be inspected by the ESA and that they would pay out the claims,” Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk wrote in the report tabled Dec. 7 in the legislature. “Two of the insurers said that after paying out such a claim, they might consider cancelling the policy if the installation was not done by a licensed contractor, but not if it was not inspected by the ESA.”


Ontario’s response to COVID-19 slowed by a ‘cumbersome’ command structure that sidelines public health experts, auditor general says

ECAO6_17122020.jpgFaced with a watchdog’s report that is highly critical of his government’s COVID-19 response, an angry Premier Doug Ford said parts of it were wrong and fired a series of rare salvos at auditor general Bonnie Lysyk.

“There’s a big problem with an accountant that starts giving me health advice,” Ford said in one of several jabs Wednesday, accusing Lysyk of undermining efforts to fight the pandemic.


BREAKING: Police charge trades worker in Garron Hospital noose incident

ECAO7_17122020.jpgToronto Police today announced they have arrested a man as part of a hate-motivated mischief and criminal harassment investigation of an incident at a Toronto construction site.

Jason Lahay, 34, of Toronto, was arrested on Friday. He has been charged with one count of mischief to interrupt property over $5000 and three counts of criminal harassment. Toronto police said the arrested man was a trades worker but would not specify his trade.

EllisDon, the contractor at the Garron site, said at the time it concluded the actions were racially motivated.


Stakeholders relieved MOL to protect employers from WSIB premium spike

ECAO8_17122020.pngConstruction stakeholders are applauding a move by the Ontario government to spare the province’s employers from an unexpected hike in Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) premiums.

The spike would have resulted from a pandemic-related quirk relating to a new WSIB Maximum Insurable Earnings Ceiling scheduled to take effect for 2021 in January.

Constructors with their higher than average wages would have been especially hurt by an unexpected increase of 7.8 per cent in the earnings ceiling, they claimed, and they have been lobbying the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development for relief ever since the premium hike was announced by the WSIB Oct. 1.

The introduction of standalone legislation on Dec. 8 to deal with the problem by limiting the increase to two per cent prompted expressions of relief in the sector.



ECAO Information Webinar on the WSIB Safety Excellence Program January 13, 2021



ECAO has been selected as an Approved Provider based on knowledge, training, and experience to facilitate and validate the excellence program requirements. We provide your organization with access to qualified and experienced safety professionals, resources, and mentorship.

Membership and active participation in the program enable firms tobuild a strong and compliant health and safety management system while preventing workplace illnesses, injuries while improving moral and corporate responsibilities. The program is an opportunity for workplace parties to come together, share ideas and solve problems. This is your opportunity to get a rebate on your WSIB premiums.

More information will follow but mark your calendar for January 13, 2021.

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 881 6254 6521

Certifire and Registered Fire Alarm Contractor Webinar- January 27, 2021


Join us for an information session on Certi-Fire and the Registered Fire Alarm Contractor Program that can help ECAO contractor members understand how they can increase business opportunities with both the Certi-Fire and Registered Fire Alarm Contractor Programs.

Mark your calendar for January 27 at 2:00 pm

Join Zoom Meeting: 

Meeting ID: 643 834 7371

Pendemics & Construction Productivity: Was This Your First GLobal Pandemic?



ECAO13_17122020.jpgAnd that notwithstanding, we have had a front row seat to watch how you have amazingly dealt with the massive change in circumstances you experienced and continue to experience.

Obviously, the construction industry is resilient, but not without a cost for being so.

Now that we are several months into the pandemic, you have, for the most part, adapted to COVID-19 impacts and have developed a greater certainty as to what those costs, or better damages, entail; now permitting claims to be valued, assuming timely notices were provided and the entitlement grounds are laid out, allowing the claims to be negotiated or determined.

The focus of this webinar will be on the entitlement to, which is largely driven by your contract language and its risk allocation, and calculation of such claims with an introduction to how one might establish the costing rationale for disruption, delays and/or loss of productivity.


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Daniel J. Leduc
Norton Rose
Fulbright LLP

Maged Abdelsayed




Electro Federation of Canada (EFC) Podcast AFCI Technology- Home Fire Protection Technology


TEFC  recently held a podcast with Gurvinder Chopra, VP Standards and Regulations. This podcast series aims to highlight trending topics in the electrical industry. The first episode aired Nov. 30 on Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI) technology with expert Vladimir Gagachev of Eaton Industries Canada. In this episode they uncover some of the differences between GFCI and AFCI, common misconceptions and how this technology can prevent serious electrical fires in the home.

A link to the podcast series page can be found here:

NECA Wants to Know How You #MaskUp 


Wearing a mask saves lives. Tag NECA on social media with your #MaskUp photos to join the conversation. You can also email your photos and we will share them on NECA's social media channels.

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