Canadian Electrical Wholesaler
Published by Kerrwil Publications Limited with the support of Electro-Federation Canada (EFC)
Cooper Industries

Message From The Editor

Discussions on the public stage

Meetings are multiplying on the international stage this summer, and agreements are being negotiated. The economy is healthy and we all continue to be interested in it. We're taking advantage of this period to participate in the discussion of an issue in our industry that is occurring at a time of constant technological change: "or equivalent approved products." Another debate taking place, as recreational use of marijuana is about to become legal, is its use in the workplace. Employers, particularly those engaged in operations posing health and safety hazards, are legitimately concerned. Is this a necessary overhaul of practices and policies given the legalization of marijuana? In a nutshell... no, but if you have workers in "safety-sensitive positions" you may need to understand your rights as an employer, and adjust your policies and procedures. These adjustments could protect your employees and your business. Feel free to follow and participate in these discussions. Good reading!

Line Goyette, Managing Editor


Changing Scene


The Supply Chain "Sacrifice"

By Rick McCarten
Electrofed The recent news about the trade war brewing between China and the United States reminded me of a supply chain connection: a company can make a sacrifice to its own efficiency that will lead to an improvement for the entire channel. This was the key factor that led to the existing trade gap between China and the U.S. Read More

Digital Marketing

Websites and Your Coffee

By David Gordon
Channel marketing Group Recently a number of distributors have launched upgraded websites with eCommerce capabilities. Launch times reportedly range from 4 to 28 months… and maybe more (Kirby Risk, State Electric, Independent Electric, Fairmont Supply, Turtle & Hughes, Electric Supply (Tampa). And we know of other major ones coming online soon and some are upgrading their product content). Now, after the site development expense, the companies are investing in "digital marketing" specialists/marketers to help monetize their efforts. The question then becomes, what is the definition of monetize? Because, after all, if you develop it, will they come? Read More


View of "Or Approved Equal" Products

By John Kerr
Kerrwil From our view of the Canadian electrical industry and as a member of the industry that understands how our readers buy, specify, install and maintain electrical equipment nationally, we want to enter into "the approved or equal" debate that seems to be happening more often than not of late. We are hearing about this on commercial, institutional and industrial projects in all areas of the country. Too often I have heard of presentations being made by many electrical equipment suppliers to consultants and consulting engineering firms that are crafted to address specific needs and applications. The intention of presenting the firm's products is to be named in the specification only to be told that "or approved equal" would be how they would amend the spec. Read More


Legalizing Marijuana and Occupational Health and Safety

By David S. Reiter and Lorenzo Lisi
CanLII Last month the Senate passed Bill C-45, making the use of recreational marijuana a reality as of October 17, 2018. Employers, especially those engaging in operations with health and safety concerns, are legitimately concerned. Is an overhaul of their practices and policies required given the legalization of marijuana? In a word… No. Workers do not have the right to be impaired at work. And workers do not have an absolute right to consume marijuana at work. This has already been decided and was again addressed this year by the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal in Aitchison v. L&L Painting and Decorating Ltd., 2018 HRTO 238. Read More

Peers & Profiles

Laura Dempsey — A Second Generation of Women at E.B. Horsman & Son

By Owen Hurst
E.B. Horseman & Son Laura Dempsey has been working as an outside sales representative for E.B. Horsman & Son for over 15 years, and is a member of the BCEA U40 network of young professionals. She lives in Langley, BC and is proud of her position and work with E.B. Horsman, particularly as she is the second Dempsey generation to work for the company. Laura's mother Shelly has worked at E.B. Horsman for over 25 years, and instilled in Laura a determination to succeed. Laura followed in her mother's footsteps after witnessing how much her mother enjoyed her work and the people she works with at E.B. Horsman. Read More

Survey Says

Electrical Distributor Branch Distribution by Region

Pathfinder Ontario has nearly twice as many branches as any other region. Quebec comes in second, followed by Western Canada. Read More


May's Rise in Value of Building Permits Recaptures April's Decline

Statistique Canada The value of permits issued by Canadian municipalities increased 4.7% to $8.2 billion in May. This followed a 4.7% drop in April, the only month this year where municipalities reported a total value below the $8.0 billion mark. In the residential sector, municipalities issued $5.5 billion worth of permits in May, up 7.7% from April. This was the second-highest value on record, following the $5.7 billion worth of permits issued in October 2016. Five provinces posted increases, with Ontario and British Columbia reporting the largest gains. The multi-family dwelling component reached a record high in May, with municipalities issuing $3.1 billion worth of building permits. The increase was the result of higher construction intentions in British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta. The value of single-family dwelling permits also rose in May, up 6.2% from the previous month to $2.5 billion. Read More


GDP in April Continued to Rise

Statistique Canada Real gross domestic product edged up 0.1% in April as 12 of 20 industrial sectors increased. After a decline in January, GDP has risen every month since the beginning of 2018. The output of goods-producing industries rose 0.2%, as gains in the manufacturing and utilities sectors more than offset declines in construction and in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction. Services-producing industries were essentially unchanged overall as a notable decline in retail trade was offset by increases in the majority of subsectors. Manufacturing was up 0.8% in April as the output of both durable and non-durable manufacturing grew. This reflects in part higher inventory buildup, as the real inventory-to-sales ratio was the highest since 2009. Read More

From Our Last Issue

From Our Last Issue
  • EFC Introduces Its New Brand Identity
    I am writing this article on the heels of a successful Electro-Federation Canada (EFC) conference in Vancouver. Member feedback identified that the networking, speakers, hotel and beautiful weather all contributed to the event's success. Yet there was something different in the air that created a new energy among those who attended. I believe the energy was created by the launch of the new EFC brand, which included an overall renewed vision and mission for EFC. Our new vision speaks to the community we represent as manufacturers, distributors and manufacturers' reps, and the innovation and contributions our industry makes to society. Our new brand image, messaging and positioning reflect the key game changers in the market that members identified.

  • What's Our Legacy for the Next Generation?
    What are we leaving behind to the next generation? The landscape in the electrical industry has changed in the last 35 years. To my point, we have numerous companies that have been family owned and operated for years. It's been a pleasure to see companies continue the growth in which the first generation started. Today through many acquisitions in the electrical distribution channel we have two out of four companies controlling the majority of our industry in Canada. In the same time period, similar acquisitions occurred in the manufacturing sector. Throughout this change our industry is still growing in profitability.

  • Transforming the Electrical Industry in a New Digital Age
    Digitalization is set to take a strong hold of all business models, transforming how companies access, monitor, engage with and service customers. Today's customers are not passive consumers; they rely on real-time digital access to information to make purchasing decisions. Businesses must consider how to apply digital technologies and digitized data to connect with customers to help reshape their paths to purchase. This digital lens provides improvements to business functions, operations and overall processes by creating stronger insight and knowledge so businesses can take action.

  • CEW Survey of Electrical Companies: What You Told Us
    To gain a broader understanding of the Canadian market as a whole, CEW recently conducted a survey of electrical companies from across Canada. Readers rose to the occasion, providing the data that we discuss below. In our initial question we asked respondents to compare their last quarter results from 2018 against those from the same quarter last year. The survey results show a promising upward trend of growth, which in some cases has shown substantial gain. The largest growth revealed that 20% of respondents report revenue up 4-6% over the same quarter last year. In total 71% of respondents identified growth over last year.

The Electrical Stock Market

Track the stock market performance of 25 publicly traded electrical equipment suppliers and electrical wholesalers. Updated weekly.

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Time for a Change? New Job Openings

Access the latest job and career opportunities in Canada's electrical industry today. New listings posted regularly. View Current

Published by Kerrwil Publications Limited with the support of Electro-Federation Canada (EFC)
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