Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

December 8, 2021

EIN Watts Word logo 400By Blake Marchand

Watt’s the Word is a recently launched Electrical Industry Podcast hosted by Zack Hartle and Jason Cox, who are Electricians and Electrical Trade Instructors at SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology).

Cox is a Calgary based Alberta Master Electrician; he’s been an instructor for the past 15-years with a Master of Education, specializing in adult education. He also gets on the tools volunteering every year for the Calgary Folk Festival electrical crew.

“I’m interested in education obviously, and we’re hoping to connect our industry, its such a large vast industry,” he said about the podcast.

Hartle started young in the trades. At 16 he went into the Registered Apprenticeship Program. He worked in the trade for 9-years before taking a teaching job with SAIT. He was also involved with the Skills Canada Competitions and ended up making it to Germany where he competed at the World Skills Competition.

“There’s a couple different trade entry options in Alberta,’ noted Hartle with respect to programs at SAIT, “there’s the pre-employment, where potential apprentices come before they hit the jobsite, it’s a little more hands on. The program Jason and I teach in is the electrician apprenticeship program, so apprentices they’ve been in the field on the tools and they’re just coming to learn the theory and the code.”

With the podcast they wanted to play their part in connecting the industry, “I listen to a lot of podcasts,” Hartle said, “I enjoy them and you can get a lot of different trinkets of information from a lot of different places, there’s a few American based podcasts that talk about the code and the industry down there – but our industry is so different in Canada and there’s not enough information out there.”

“Teaching everyday to the apprentices we cover a lot of technical information, a lot of these people want to start a business, or they want to become an estimator, or a project manager,” said Hartle, “So, we just wanted to start something that’s 40 minutes, every couple weeks, just giving some more information on what the industry is all about.”

“The idea is to just have people on who can talk about their experience in the trade and talk about something in the industry that people might not know about.”

As David Myers notes in their inaugural podcast, “The correlation between public safety and electrical work is always something I’ve been very passion about. When we get something wrong, we’re putting the public is at risk. So, the requirement to do things right is so obviously apparent in electrical, and I’ve learned a lot from that type of thinking.” Which really emphasizes, beyond the obvious, why its so important to have these discussions and create forums and avenues where questions can be asked. As they note, the industry is so vast there are always questions to be answered and given the importance of safety and quality, its imperative that electricians know their stuff.

The other aspect to the broad scope of the electrical trade, is that there is plenty of opportunity. But if you don’t have insight into where the trade can take you, you can’t pursue it. And as Cox says, there’s still lots to learn beyond the technical aspects.

In terms of topics for their podcast: they’ve covered the code and changes to the new edition with Myers in their first episode, they talked electric shock and arc flash safety with John Knoll, solar with Nathan Ward, and have talked with Skills Canada alumni Chelsea Dyck, as well as covering the IBEW with Scott Crichton. They’ve also interviewed each other to share more insight into their respective journeys in the trades. Their latest episode looks at the challenges of COVID with Neil Moffat of Canem Systems.

Upcoming episodes include interviews with Co-CEO's of Virtuoso Energy and Adam Ghani Chief Electrical Inspector at the city of Calgary.

Beyond that they’d like to start some discussions with wholesalers to provide insight for electricians and contractors on efficient transactions, promote women in the trades, as well as a miniseries on being a small business owner. They’d also like to touch on the insurance/WCB (Workers Compensation Board of Alberta) side of things, which would be required to start a business, “Of course, we’re not lawyers giving advice, but to plant that seed and give people stuff to think about,” noted Hartle.

“We’re going to speak with the Electrical Contractors Association of Alberta, we hope. I didn’t even know about them until I had to, people don’t know that these huge contractor associations exists and there’s so many resources for apprentices and journeyman,” he added.

Elaborating on topics they’d like to explore, Cox said, “We have some potential changes to our apprenticeship in Alberta, so we’re just starting to scratch the surface to see what those changes at the provincial level are going to do to our trade and all trades.”

“I know they’re looking at an apprenticeship model that encompasses more occupations than the typical construction trades, following the European model,” he said, adding Watt’s the Word’s focus will obviously be on the electrical trade and they currently don’t expect any drastic changes when it comes to how the system operates for electrician apprentices.

I asked Cox and Hartle about demand for apprentices in Alberta. For first and second year apprentices, they said the demand is there, but with where the economy is at right now, there is job shortages rather than shortages of electricians. And that can make it tough on fourth year apprentices and journeymen.

“We’re journeymen heavy, unfortunately right now,” said Hartle, “there’s some companies who don’t have proper ratios. So, they have too many first and second years and not enough journeymen doing the appropriate training and that’s one of the messages we’re trying to get across, is keeping the trade strong and the integrity of the trade,” he said, adding that its important to reinforce why regulations (like having proper apprentice/journeymen ratios) are in place and what the purposes are.

“It really erodes everything, because you’ll have companies that are trying to do the right thing and trying to keep everything above board, and there’s going to be other companies who are just completely taking advantage of the system,” and that leads to an unfair competitive advantage, “People doing it right can’t compete with the people doing it wrong.”

A big challenge is that, previously, the oil industry was very strong and provided a lot of work for electricians. As some of that work starts to dry up, it has a ripple effect for the contractors making a living in that industry. I asked Cox and Hartle for their opinion on how the industry can move past oil and bring the demand back up for electricians, “Diversification is the word that gets thrown around,” Hartle said, “and there’s work that can be done there.”

But when demand for work drops as it has in Alberta oil industry, the reality is, “it takes people a while to understand that maybe there won't be that much work again in that same facet of the industry.” Which again emphasizes the importance of continuing education throughout your career to diversify your skill set and branch out into other areas, particularly as the industry changes and evolves.

Hartle said that as the industry progresses toward newer technologies like solar, EV charging stations and new infrastructure requirements, there will be opportunity.

The Watt’s the Word Podcast can be found on all the major podcast platforms (Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, etc...). Zack and Jason are eager to hear from the electrical industry about topics they would like discussed on future episodes of the show.

Website: www.wattsthewordpodcast.com

Email: wattsthewordpodcast@gmail.com

Facebook or Instagram @wattsthewordpodcast

Changing Scene

  • Prev
The federal governemnt has officially launched a call for proposals (CFP) for the  ...
The Electrical Contractors Association of BC (ECABC) has announced the impending departure of ...
The Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough was at ...
The launch of the Apprenticeship Service stands to help overcome financial barriers employers face ...
The National Electrical Trade Council (NETCO) is pleased to announce that they will be rolling out ...
43 years ago, Steve Silverstein bought a table saw and a delivery van and began a revolution in the ...
E.B. Horsman & Son (EBH) has announced their Victoria location will be officially moving to a ...
 The Maritime’s largest Mechanical and Electrical event took place last Wednesday and ...
IDEAL INDUSTRIES, INC. is calling all professional and student-apprentice electricians to come out ...
Vivi White has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Electrical Safety Authority ...

Become a Wiser Approved Installer

Wiser Approved Installer

Get access to exclusive benefits, product discounts and resources that will help you drive more business, and lower energy bills for your clients.

 

 

 

Read More


 



Government of CanadaThe federal governemnt has officially launched a call for proposals (CFP) for the Zero-Emission Vehicle Awareness Initiative (ZEVAI). The initiative’s 2022 CFP will help fund new and innovative projects that aim to increase awareness and knowledge of ZEVs and charging and refueling infrastructure thereby increasing public confidence in these vehicles and their economic and environmental benefits.


Natural Resources Canada will provide funding through non-repayable contributions of between 50 and 75 percent of the total eligible project costs, with a maximum funding of up to $300,000 per project. The CFP will close on August 18, 2022.

Read more


 

Omnicable joins ETIMETIM North America announced that OmniCable has joined the product classification standards organization. Headquartered in West Chester, PA, OmniCable has 24 locations throughout North America, and also owns Houston Wire & Cable (HWC). The company partners with many electrical manufacturers and only sells to distributors.

According to John Dean, Director of Marketing & E-Commerce, OmniCable/HWC, “The wire and cable industry is often called commodities, but there are very distinct features and attributes for the different products our manufacturers produce. 

Read More

 


 

Atkore United Poly SystemsAtkore Inc. announced that it has acquired United Poly Systems, a manufacturer of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) pressure pipe and conduit, primarily serving telecom, water infrastructure, renewables, and energy markets.

“We are pleased to complete the acquisition of United Poly Systems, which strengthens Atkore’s product portfolio, expands our manufacturing capacity and further enables us to meet HDPE customers’ needs,” stated John Pregenzer, President of Atkore’s Electrical business. “HDPE pipe and conduit is a growing market that is expected to benefit from U.S. infrastructure legislation, and United Poly Systems is a great addition to Atkore. We welcome these employees and look forward to working together to continue to serve and support our customers.”

Read More


 

Canadian Electrical Contractor Discussion Group: Can You Count the Deficiencies?

EIN CECD 400Have you ever been called to fix the work of a 'handyman'?

"Was supposedly done by a"certified ' electrician....told the homeowner that he got a $266 permit....no record at TSBC. Can you count the deficiencies?"

"There is a second panel change in the triplex also.......even more deficiencies. Think the guy was a glorified handyman. Ones not obvious: 240 BB heat hooked up 120....drier on 2p20....range on 2p50....water heater fed with 2c14 Bx on 2p15."

Go HERE to join the discussion

 


 

Latest Articles

  • Prev
  The RenuWell Project partners are excited to announce the groundbreaking of two pilot ...
Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with David O’Reilly, Vice President Home & ...
Canada’s labour market is feeling the effects of ‘a tight labour market, illustrated in the ...
NETCO (National Electrical Trade Council) is an alliance of IBEW (International Brotherhood of ...
62-000 Scope states that this is a supplementary or amendatory section of the Code and applies ...
This recall involves a yellow electrical wire, 12/2 NMD90 75M Romex SIMpull cable, sold by the ...
Alberta has released two STANDATA updates in April: Liquid-filled Transformers & Lightning ...
"Electrical work is evidently dangerous. Electrocution is one of the top six causes of occupational ...
Electrical distribution problems are not always immediately identified as issues with power ...
 FRE Composites fiberglass elbows provide a number of benefits to raceway installations no ...

Grimard is More Competitive and Produces Estimates 3X Faster with Procore

ProcoreWhen the pandemic lockdowns started in March of 2020, Grimard (an electrical contractor) had to decide whether to shut down its operations entirely or implement a new platform with people who were now freely available for work. Once they implemented Procore, they found a way to efficiently communicate with stakeholders and offer full transparency in terms of project costs and planning. It also allowed Grimard to utilize historical data to make project estimates more accurate. Grimard was able to streamline its bidding process, which made it more attractive to potential clients and helped the business grow.

Read More


 



 

Iron+EarthThe RenuWell Project partners are excited to announce the groundbreaking of two pilot sites located near Taber, Alberta. These pilot sites are the first of their kind to repurpose inactive oil and gas infrastructure as a foundation for renewable energy development and job creation.

When operating, the solar projects will generate 2,030 MWh annually – enough electricity to power 280 average Alberta households or irrigate 11,700 acres of farmland for an average year. This is roughly equivalent to $200,000 in electricity sales per year with 1,100  tCO2e savings in GHG emissions. Over a 25-year lifespan, the projects will generate 50,750 MWh, with GHG emission savings of 28,420 tCO2e.

Read More


 

David O'ReillyBy Elle Bremmer

Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with David O’Reilly, Vice President Home & Distribution and Secure Power Divisions with Schneider Electric Canada for a discussion regarding the Wiser EnergyTM smart home solution, the Wiser Approved training program, and his thoughts on several different subjects, including sustainability and future technologies currently in the works at Schneider Electric. David has been with the company for five and a half years in his role.

We recently published a study (version en français ICI) from Schneider Electric showing a strong interest from Canadians in smart home technology. 

Read More


 

 

Affiliated DistributorsAD members and suppliers eagerly reunited during the 2022 AD Industrial & Safety – Canada Supplier Summit hosted at the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver / The Douglas Hotel from May 30 – June 2, 2022. With nearly 400 participants in attendance from coast to coast, as well as some participants from the U.S., the monumental event was instrumental in the reconnection and reintegration of the division—fostering opportunities and conversations inspired by in-person collaboration. 

Rob Dewar, president of AD Canada, shared his thoughts on the hallmark event as well as the continued growth of the division. 

 

Read More


 

SimplySnap: It Just Works.

SynapseSmart technology is only smart if it works, and SimplySnap? It just works.
Scalable, field-proven, DLC NLC 5.0 qualified, and easy-to-install wireless network
lighting controls are in-stock. Explore energy code compliant SimplySnap
technology here.

Read More

 


 

Product News

  • Prev
Ericson announces upgraded versions of their extremely capable line of Industrial String Lights and ...
Intermatic Incorporated announced its new P40000 Series Load Centers, a set of next-generation ...
Klein Tools introduces new Stand-up Zipper Bags, in a 2-Pack with 7-Inch and 14-Inch sizes, ...
Cree LED, anSGHcompany, announced the launch ofXLamp® Element G LEDs, delivering a new ...
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates 350 employees are killed ...
IDEC Corporation has released a complete product line of S3TL series ferrules, wire strippers, ...
Corning CCH pigtailed cassettes are factory assembled, quality tested, and available in LC and ...
QuickLink delivers the fastest downlighting installation HALO has to offer. Installers can power up ...
Kidde HomeSafe™ is a comprehensive suite of smart home safety devices to help protect against ...
Combination Couplings used to join 3/4" EMT conduit via set screw to 14/2 through 10/3 Steel and ...


Ericson String LightsEricson announces upgraded versions of their extremely capable line of Industrial String Lights and SL, LED Stringlights. These new and updated products have several key features important when safe, code compliant lighting for industrial workspace is necessary.

Infinitely capable, these ruggedly built products have several industry leading & exclusive features including:

Industrial String Lights:

  • A United States Navy Specification since before WWII, they’re time and application tested...

 

Read More


 

 

Intermatic Pool and Spa SolutionIntermatic Incorporated announced its new P40000 Series Load Centers, a set of next-generation panels for pool-only applications, as well as its new PE24GVA 24-Volt Valve Actuator, an easy-to-install valve actuator that allows for tool-free cam adjustments. Both solutions remove obstacles for pool service professionals while delivering lasting performance.

“Intermatic load centers and valve actuators have been the preferred choice of pool professionals for more than 30 years,” says Brian Lamberty, product marketing manager at Intermatic. “The PE24GVA and P40000 Series build on that tradition, helping pool professionals streamline service calls while setting the standard for quality and performance.”

Read More


 

 

Klein Tools Zipper BagsKlein Tools introduces new Stand-up Zipper Bags, in a 2-Pack with 7-Inch and 14-Inch sizes, both designed to handle tough jobsite conditions and stand up so tools and small parts can be easily accessed when working.

Stand-up Zipper Bags, 7-Inch and 14-Inch, 2-Pack (Cat. No. 55559)

  • Perfect for storing pliers, wrenches, screwdrivers, drill bits and other small tools and parts
  • 4 1/2’’ tall zipper bags come in two sizes:
    • 14’’ (36.6 cm) dark gray
    • 7’’ (17.8 cm) royal blue


Read More


 

Emerson HV SafetyThe Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates 350 employees are killed annually in electrocution accidents, which roughly equals one fatality per day. In the face of these dangers, OSHA officials and industry safety consultants alike recommend eliminating potential hazards on work sites, rather than simply relying on contractors or employees to follow safety guidelines.

To help safeguard employees from electrocution, Emerson has launched its Appleton™ Powertite™ Lock Collar, a device that fastens over plug and connector connections and is secured with a padlock, preventing unauthorized personal from disconnecting the cable connection once in place. 

Read More


 

Copper $US Dollar price per pound

Kerrwil Publications Great Place to Work. Certified December 2019 - December 2020

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
©2022 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil