Vol. 1 No. 10

August 2006

- Remembering the Blackout of 2003
- EB Online Gallery updates
- Coming Events
- The EB Bluebook: Time is Running Out!
- Your September 2006 Electrical Business



Shortly before 4:11 p.m. on August 14, 2003, a series of power surges over a 12-second period triggered a cascade of shutdowns at more than 100 generating plants throughout Ontario and eight American states. The result was the biggest blackout in North American history: 61,800MW of power were lost to over 50 million people.

Although three years have passed, many Ontarians won't soon forget that day: the line-ups for gas, spending the evening by candlelight, or stocking up on water because you live above the third floor and there's nothing to power the pumps that deliver tapwater to you.

The situation took a short while to sort itself out but, despite calls for restraint (especially where water usage was concerned), some people still ignored the gravity of the situation: like the guy I saw washing his car and hosing it down just a day after the blackout.

Thankfully, most people took notice, which is why "The Culture of Conservation" is so popular these days, especially with Ontario's current provincial government. (These are the same folks who regularly warn us that we don't have enough electricity and our comfortable livelihood is hanging by a thread, then shut down an important coal-fired generating station because they said they would... but I digress.)

The important thing to remember in all this is that, for a long time, the fine notion of conserving energy and using energy-efficient products was just that-a fine notion-so most people didn't pay it much mind. These days they do, and they're willing to pay for it, and it goes beyond just installing a few CFLs. Consumers desire all kinds of products and systems that will help them save energy and, by extension, the environment.

The three "Rs" of recycling were unheard of a generation ago, but now they're commonplace. It's the same with energy conservation: while some folks will never change their habits (like the guy washing his car), succeeding generations overwhelmingly will, and they'll need experienced, savvy professionals to help them navigate the maze of energy conservation truths and propaganda. Strive to be one of them.

Photos of the August 2003 blackout from space: the first was taken 20 hours before the power surges, the second just seven hours after. Photos courtesy Air Force Weather Agency. )


Be sure to visit EBmag.com in the coming days as we upload photos from the Ontario Electrical League Golf Tournament held at Nobleton Lakes. You'll also see photos from the Osso Electric Power-Up Poker Tournament.


Annual Federation Cup Charity Golf Tournament
Electro-Federation Canada (EFC)
August 29

Canadian Electrical Code 2006 Essentials
Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
September 6-7, Mississauga, Ont.
September 25-26, Winnipeg

Design, Installation & Maintenance of Electrical Equipment in Hazardous Locations
Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
September 11-12, Mississauga, Ont.
September 27-28, Winnipeg

Canadian Electrical Code and Provincial Amendments
Les Stoch (L. Stoch and Associates) for Dalhousie University
September 13-14, St. John's
Call Sheila Gallagher at (800) 565-1179 or Les Stoch at (905) 828-2262

Grounding & Bonding of Electrical Equipment
Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
September 13, Mississauga, Ont.

Communications Systems & EMI
Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
September 14, Mississauga, Ont.

Static Grounding: One Spark, One Chance
Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
September 15, Mississauga, Ont.
NEC/CEC: A Comparison of Requirements
Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
September 20-21, Mississauga, Ont.

Canadian Airports National Electrical Workshop (CANEW)
Canadian Airports Electrical Association (CAEA) and the Ottawa International Airport Authority
September 25-29

2007 Economic Forecast
ElectroFederation Canada (EFC)
September 28
Brampton, Ont.

Sustainable Lighting Solutions Workshop
Sylvania Lightpoint® Course
September 25-26
Mississauga, Ont.

Arc Flash: Measures for Prevention and Control
Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and Schneider Electric
September 28, Mississauga, Ont.

Want to see YOUR EVENT listed here?
Send information to the Editor at
acapkun@clbmedia.ca or fax (905) 727-0017.


Electrical Business has put out the call for Bluebook information. The Bluebook is the most important and influential source guide for the Canadian electrical landscape.

Don’t miss out, and don’t think this is someone else’s responsibility!

To be included in the Bluebook 2007, visit EBmag.com and take advantage of the online reporting form.

(Tip for success: Be sure to include all branches/divisions to ensure no one gets left out.)


With the coming of September, our thoughts turn to the Labour Day weekend, the death of summer and, of course, school. This is why the September issue of Electrical Business revolves around Training and Education.

Our cover feature looks at the world of apprenticeship, and the problems faced by both apprentices and prospective employers. For the former, it can be difficult finding an employer who is not only willing to take you on, but expose you to a variety of electrical work and maybe even keep you on when you finish your schooling. For employers, government-mandated ratios, return-on-investment (ROI) and poaching all play a role in confusing what should be an otherwise natural progression of new blood into the industry.

This issue also contains our comprehensive round-up of academic institutions across the country offering courses and programs, with a much-expanded section on Quebec, as well as an article on calculating the ROI on training.

Don't forget to check out our massive hand tool round-up, with every implement you can think of for getting the job done. And, as usual, be sure to check out the Regional Focus, Code File and Code Conundrum, as so much more.

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