Vol. 2 No. 7

May 2007

- EB Scholarship Closes at Month’s End!
- ‘Hub City’ to Host National ‘Trade Olympics’
- Amprobe Recalls Questionable Clamp Meters
- TRU Offers a Degree—In the Trades
- EFC Boasts New Alumni Association
- Learning About ESA’s Contractor Advisors
- Greenlee Launches Redesigned Website
- PEO Encourages Licensure with New Program
- Intermatic Introduces Online Training Initiative
- GE Canadian Assembly Centre Open, Names Prize Winner
- Coming Events
- Your June/July 2007 Electrical Business


Time is running out to take advantage of the Electrical Business Future Contractor Scholarship, where five awards amounting to $2500 are up for grabs!

Offered through the EFC Foundation Scholarship Program, the scholarship is awarded to five apprentices who have completed the Basic Level at an approved college electrical apprentice program with a minimum 75% average. A total of five winners will be selected, one from each of the following five Canadian regions:

1) British Columbia, The Yukon and Alberta;
2) Saskatchewan, Manitoba, The Northwest Territories and Nunavut;
3) Ontario;
4) Quebec; and
5) Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

Don’t miss out! Application deadline is midnight, June 1! CLICK HERE to get all the details.


Skills/Compétences Canada, the national not-for-profit organization that promotes careers in skilled trades and technologies to Canadian youth, formally announced that Skills Canada–Saskatchewan is hosting the 13th Canadian Skills Competition in Saskatoon next month.

Provincial and territorial branches of Skills/Compétences Canada hold annual Olympic-style competitions to test the abilities of young people at secondary and post-secondary levels for trade and technology occupations. Gold medallists from each province or territory then go on to compete in the Canadian Skills Competition. This means that 550 Canadian youth—accompanied by their coaches and parents—will gather in Saskatoon June 6-9 for what could be considered Canada’s largest and most exciting endeavour to promote careers in skilled trades and technologies.

“About 20 years ago, careers in the trades went out of fashion,” says Donavon Elliott, a teacher from Prince Albert and chair of Skills Canada–Saskatchewan. “About the same time, the need for workers in applied technology careers began to grow. The work of Skills/Compétences Canada and its regional branches across the country is helping to build these workforces through our young people. The well-being of our economy and our infrastructure depends on these careers, which are extremely viable and rewarding, yet undervalued.”

Skills Canada–Saskatchewan will conduct its own provincial competition immediately before the national event, on June 4 and 5. Prairieland Park and the SIAST Kelsey campus will house the competitions, which are also open to the general public. Industry, government and education displays will showcase career opportunities in trades and technologies, as well as provide information about the educational requirements and supports for these occupations.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the 13th Canadian Skills Competition and the 9th Saskatchewan Skills Competition, as well as Skills/Compétences Canada, or call Conrad E. Pura, the executive director of Skills Canada–Saskatchewan at (306) 683-0404.


In co-operation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Amprobe Test Tools (Everett, Wash.) is voluntarily recalling the ACD-10 PRO, ACD-10 TRMS-PRO, ACD-14 and ACD-14 TRMS digital clamp meters. They may fail to give an appropriate voltage reading, resulting in the belief that electrical power is OFF when it may very well be ON. This situation poses the risk of shock, thermal burn and even electrocution.

These units were manufactured in Taiwan and sold in North America from January 2002 through December 2006. While no injuries have yet been reported, Amprobe is aware of one report of a clamp meter displaying an incorrect voltage reading.

Stop using these products and return your unit to Amprobe—even if you have not experienced any problems. It will be replaced with an AC75B or ACD-15 TRMS PRO digital clamp meter. CLICK HERE to contact Amprobe directly regarding the recall, or call (800) 350-8661 between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Pacific) Monday through Friday.


One of the most challenging issues facing the skilled trades is that youth (not to mention their key influencers and the general public) have deeply rooted, negative perceptions about skilled trade careers, and choose university degree-based careers instead.

Foremost among these perceptions is that the trades are low-paying, dirty, dangerous and physically demanding, despite statistics that show salaries for tradespeople exceed the national average, that training for skilled careers can be highly specialized and challenge intellectual, creative and problem solving skills, and that trades training is typically more practical, providing the opportunity for students to earn while they learn.

Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in Kamloops, B.C., has come up with an innovative program to help solve this perception dilemma and combat the increasing shortage of trained tradespeople. It has introduced a new Bachelor of Technology degree in Trades and Technology Leadership. The only one of its kind in Canada, the degree is aimed at allowing certified tradespeople to earn a degree related to their trade.

Taking its first cohort of students now, the new degree is being primarily offered through online study, as TRU recognizes that many tradespeople wishing to advance in their careers are already working in their chosen field and require flexible learning options. The end result will be a skilled tradesperson with the business and leadership knowledge needed for management and other advanced positions.

“This program represents an economical and quick way for people in the trades to advance their careers,” said TRU’s trades and technology degree programs co-ordinator, Gerry Desrochers, who explained that most classes are available immediately or within two to three months of acceptance into the program, and that there is no fixed program entry date as is the case with campus-delivered courses.

“People entering the program will get credit for previous training, and apart from a kick-off and a capstone course in leadership, they can study online, so they won’t lose any earnings,” he added. For more information, contact Gerry at (250) 828-5106 or gdesrochers@tru.ca.


Electro-Federation Canada (EFC) has created an Alumni Association for retired or retirement-aged individuals who want to stay in touch with the industry. For its first event, both alumni and non-alumni EFC members are invited to Castlemore Golf & Country Club in Brampton, Ont., on June 25 for a day of networking and fun. To register for golf (or the dinner that follows), or if you’re in becoming an EFC alumni member, e-mail Brooke Zobolotski at bzobolotski@electrofed.com or call (905) 602-8877 ext. 224.


Submitted by Ron Bergeron

Back row, L-R: Richard Cullis, Ron Bergeron (chair) and Bob Stelzer.
Front row, L to R: Dave Ackison, Eric Glahs, Mary Ingram-Haigh, Gary Beer, Rick Charron and Glenn Carr.
Absent: Dan Lancia and Eryl Roberts.
In Ontario, the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) serves as the regulatory and inspection agency on all electrical safety matters in the province. The Contractor Advisory Council (CoAC) was established to give electrical contractors a better rapport with ESA—the body that perhaps most directly impacts their businesses on a daily basis.

The council’s mandate is pretty straightforward: to ensure continued protection of the public interest by maintaining public safety standards while supporting the interests of the contracting industry.

CoAC comprises 10 contractors (five from the Ontario Electrical League [OEL] and five from the Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario [ECAO]) that work in partnership with ESA; giving advice for the formulation of policy and strategies, assessing results, and making recommendations to ESA executives—including its CEO.

Appointed for two-year terms, council members meet for a full day, six times a year with ESA. The members are: Dave Ackison (Ackison Electric), Gary Beer (Jay Electric), Ron Bergeron (Bergeron Electric, and council chair), Glenn Carr (Campbell & Kennedy Electric), Rick Charron (Anew Electrical), Richard Cullis (Dial One Wolfedale Electric), Eric Glahs (Lorne’s Electric), Mary Ingram-Haigh (OEL), Dan Lancia (Holaco Installations), and Eryl Roberts (ECAO). While appointed to the council, OEL’s president and ECAO’s executive vice-president do not vote.

Some of the council’s accomplishments over the past two years include:
• Implementation of electrical contractor licensing across Ontario;
• Modification to the plans approval process. Subfeeder drawings are now required only for greater than 1000A three-phase;
• Introduction of an ACP program for high-voltage applications;
• Initiation of a new, simplified permit system starting with a pilot project in Eastern Ontario;
• Implementation of a new method of measuring customer satisfaction with ESA;
• Inspector meetings with contractors; and
• Implementation of fused leads program.

Using this committee as a vehicle, issues and concerns travel very quickly from contractor to ESA and vice versa. CoAC will continue to work to solve contractor issues, improve existing programs and develop new ones as required.


Greenlee has unveiled a redesigned website that promises fast, reliable product information and online support. Susan Stukenberg, Greenlee’s director of communications, says the company will continue to provide additional enhancements in the coming months to keep the website fresh.

Meantime, Chera M. Ellis, director of marketing, announced a new online digital asset management system in the website’s Distributor Center, which is designed to provide them and their partners with a quick, easy way to access product images and application files. “Our customers can use this Web-based tool to acquire high- or low-resolution images and create full-colour catalogues, brochures and flyers, or support their own website needs,” said Ellis. CLICK HERE to check out the site.


Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO), the licensing body for engineers in that province, introduced a new program this month to encourage engineering graduates and newcomers to Canada to apply for licensure as professional engineers by removing any potential economic hurdles.

Under the Engineering Intern Training Financial Credit Program (FCP), graduates of bachelor of engineering programs accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB), as well as international engineering graduates with a bachelor of engineering/applied science degree, may be eligible to apply for the professional engineer (P.Eng.) licence at no cost. They may also be registered in the Engineering Intern Training program for the first year at no cost, provided they meet eligibility criteria established by PEO.

“This program further demonstrates our commitment to ensure that all qualified applicants in Ontario are given a fair and equal opportunity to obtain their P.Eng. licence,” said PEO 2006/2007 president, Patrick J. Quinn, P.Eng., who championed the program’s introduction.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the FCP, including eligibility and required documentation.


Intermatic Inc. has taken its first step into the world of online learning with the debut of Connect U, which is designed to meet the educational needs of the company’s internal direct sales team, reps, distributors, contractors, specifiers and installers. The site contains brief learning modules that take about 15 minutes apiece to complete. Upon completing each learning module, students should be able to: explain product features and benefits; apply specs for correct product usage; understand and recommend multiple applications; and install and operate the product.

The course offering will be expanded to include surge protection, InTouch wireless controls, wireless pool and spa controls, and HID lighting. CLICK HERE to get started.


From left to right: Patrick Haughey, Geoff Irwin, Heather Gerrie Kwant and Elaine Gerrie.

EB was there as GE celebrated the opening of its new Canadian assembly centre in Mississauga, Ont., last month. As we reported in advance of the official opening, the new facility expedites the assembly and delivery of GE’s A-Series lighting panelboards, and Spectra Series power panelboards and switchboards. There’s also a dedicated training room where you can see the products in action and gain hands-on installation experience. If you’re interested in attending or organizing a group training session, call (877) 259-0941 ext. 2912.

Be sure to check EB’s online online PHOTO GALLERY, as we’ve uploaded photos from the event.

Meantime, guests at the official opening were invited to leave a business card to be entered into the grand prize draw. Geoff Irwin, branch manager of Concord Electrical Supply, is the lucky recipient of $5000-worth of GE household appliances. Congratulations Geoff! On May 15, GE’s Electrical Distribution team went to Concord, Ont., to officially present Geoff with his prize. On hand were Patrick Haughey (GM GE Consumer & Industrial Products); Michel Roy (district sales manager); Shauna Boehner (account manager) and Heather Stamenkovic (marketing leader). Also present from Gerrie Electric were Heather Gerrie Kwant (president) and Elaine Gerrie (COO).


NEC/CEC: A Comparison of Requirements
Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
Windsor, Ont., May 24-25
Niagara Falls, Ont., June 25-26
CLICK HERE for details

Annual General Meeting and Convention
Electrical Contractors Association of Alberta (ECAA)
May 24-26
Lake Louise, Alta.
CLICK HERE for details

Annual Conference
Supply & Distribution Council, Electro-Federation Canada (EFC)
May 30-June 2
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
CLICK HERE for details

Arc Flash—Measures for Prevention and Control
Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and Schneider Electric
June 1
Mississauga, Ont.
CLICK HERE for details

Canadian Skills Competition
Skills/Compétences Canada
June 6-9
Saskatoon, Sask.
CLICK HERE for details

Canadian Electrical Code 2006 Essentials
Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
Montreal, Que., June 7-8
Halifax, N.S., June 11-12
CLICK HERE for details

Lighting Design and Application
Lightpoint Canada (Osram Sylvania)
June 11-13
Toronto, Ont.
CLICK HERE for details

National Conference
Canadian Electrical Contractors Association (CECA)
June 13-16
Ottawa, Ont.
CLICK HERE for details

Spring Golf Tournament
Alberta Electrical League (AEL)
June 14
CLICK HERE for details

Design, Installation & Certification of Electrical Equipment in Hazardous Locations
Canadian Standards Association (CSA)
Moncton, N.B., June 14-15
Niagara Falls, Ont., June 18-19
CLICK HERE for details

LED Lighting Application Workshop
Lightpoint Canada (Osram Sylvania)
June 14-15
Toronto, Ont.
CLICK HERE for details

VDV Network Cabling Systems Inspection Course
Mississauga Training Consultants
June 19-21
Mississauga, Ont.
CLICK HERE for details

Grounding - Bonding - Electrical Noise - Harmonics
Mississauga Training Consultants
June 22
Mississauga, Ont.
CLICK HERE for details

CLICK HERE to check out more industry events at EBMag.com.


In your June/July Electrical Business, we look at issues and products involving protective devices and automation. Under Meet the Players, we chat with EFC’s new chair, Robert Bouchard, and also present our first feature on Community Contractors—stories of electrical contractors throwing their support behind community initiatives. More on the June/July issue in the next edition of E-Line: Your Industry News Broadcast.

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