The Electrical Contractors Association of Ontario was founded in 1948 to serve and represent the interests of the electrical contracting industry. Over its history, ECAO has been committed to addressing the needs of the industry by providing a variety of services directly to the membership, and by making representations on behalf of the entire industry to government and industry colleagues. Its success has been due to the support and active participation of the industry.
The ECAO membership consists of bona fide electrical contractors with a contractual relationship with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Contractors that qualify may have their dues paid through an area Electrical Contractors Association (ECA). There are presently 11 Area ECA's which are affiliated with ECAO. Industry product and service suppliers may join as Affiliate Partners and are listed on the Affiliate Partners Directory. Information on membership in ECAO can be found on the Membership page of this website.
What We Do
In order to pursue the interests of electrical contractors with industry colleagues, ECAO is a member of the following groups:
Canadian Electrical Contractors Association
Ontario Joint Standard Practices Committee
Construction Bid Depository of Ontario
On matters of national concern to electrical contractors, ECAO works with the Canadian Electrical Contractors Association (CECA). CECA has representation on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Standards Association, plus the Part I and Part II of Committees of the Canadian Electrical Code. CECA is also a member of the Canadian Construction Association and is an active member of its Trade Contractors Council. CECA is the first international chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) in the US. Through this affiliation, ECAO members have access to NECA publications and materials.
ECAO is also actively involved in the development of standard practices that are in the best interests of electrical contractors. It is a member of the Ontario Joint Standard Practices Committee, which provides a forum for electrical, mechanical, general and steel contractors, plus architects, engineers and specification writers, to achieve equitable solutions to problems facing various segments of the industry. Over the years, it has produced a number of agreed items.
ECAO also supports the use of Standard Depository Rules in order to protect the sanctity of bids, and is an active member of the Construction Bid Depository of Ontario.
ECAO advocates the interests of electrical contractors to government through the following groups:
- Council of Ontario Construction Associations
- Provincial Advisory Committee for the Construction and Maintenance Electrician
- Electrical Contractor Registration Agency (ECRA) for Master Electrician and Electrical Contractor Licensing.
ECAO is a founding member of the Council of Ontario Construction Associations (COCA) formed to act as a lobby group on behalf of the entire construction industry to the provincial government. On issues such as workers' compensation and occupational health and safety, ECAO actively works through COCA to represent the interests of electrical contractors.
Throughout its history, ECAO has been involved in the certification of electricians and licensing of contractors. Since the introduction of the Apprenticeship and Tradesmen Qualification Act in 1965, ECAO has represented management on the Provincial Advisory Committee, which advises the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU).
Through the Electrical Contractor Registration Agency, ECAO is a strong advocate of the licensing of electrical contractors on the basis of passing a master electrician examination. ECRA, now an agency of the Electrical Safety Authority, licenses master electricians and electrical contractors. It also creates the master electrician examination.
The responsibility for all labour relations matters rests exclusively with the Electrical Trade Bargaining Agency (ETBA). The ETBA is the designated employer representative for labour negotiations with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The ETBA is comprised of representatives from the ECAO Line Contractors Committee, the Industrial Contractors Association, Electrical Power Systems Construction Association (EPSCA), and representatives from each area ECA. Each of these organizations is responsible for appointing one representative to participate in the ETBA.
The ETBA pursues the interest of electrical contractors through the following groups:
- Electrical Trade Joint Board (ETJB)
- Joint Electrical Promotion Plan (JEPP)
- Ground Program
- Ontario Construction Secretariat
- Ontario Construction User's Council
- Infrastructure Health and Safety Association
ECAO makes available a variety of products and services, including courses, publications and access to group purchase plans (to its members only). For more information about these member services, contact ECAO or consult the Member Services section of the ECAO website.