• The Ontario Electrical League Looks Back to Move Forward

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    September 29, 2017
    Why Mechanical Contractors?

    In 1966, the Electric Heating Association of Ontario (mechanical) merged with the Electric Service League of Ontario, to become what’s known today as the Ontario Electrical League (OEL).

    “We’re going back to our roots,” says Stephen Sell, President of the OEL. “Somewhere along the way, we started focusing on just electrical contractors, when the reality is, mechanical contractors face the same issues and hurdles as electrical contractors.”

    The OEL currently represents open-shop electrical contractors, and industry partners, such as manufacturers, distributors, utilities and electrical service companies. Our history spans back over 95 years, when mechanical members were also part of the membership. Today, some of our members offer both electrical and mechanical services to their customers. Because of this, and our history, we are already familiar with the mechanical contracting world.

    You might ask, “What do electrical contractors and mechanical contractors have in common?” The answer is, “Actually, quite a lot.”

    Both trades are passionate about their skills and abilities, and neither wish to see the erosion of their qualifications. They’ve also had to undergo hours of education and training, as well as their apprenticeships, to obtain their licenses to work as a fully qualified journeyperson.

    While there are other organizations in Ontario to represent the open-shop mechanical contractor, the OEL, by far, has the largest open-shop network and representation at the local level, to engage with the mechanical contractors. This helps provide a foundation to build a unified voice for mechanical contractors in Ontario.

    Electrical and mechanical contractors also share a direct relationship with the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT). In this regard, both trades share the same concerns regarding the ratio restrictions imposed onto them. This common concern is prevalent and significant as it hinders the contractor’s ability to bring on new apprentices, in turn compromising entry into the trades.

    Additionally, electrical contractors are regulated by the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) in licensing and inspection. The ESA inspects electrical work according the Ontario Electrical Safety Code. Similarly, mechanical contractors are regulated by the Technical Safety Standards Association (TSSA) in their inspections and licensing. Mechanical work in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) is governed by the B149.1-15 Natural Gas and Propane Installation Code.

    Why be part of the Ontario Mechanical League (OML)?

    If you are a mechanical contractor and work in plumbing, heating, sheet metal, ventilation, refrigeration or insulation, you understand that your trade faces numerous challenges. It is becoming increasingly difficult for business owners to have their issues addressed, even heard, by the government and within the industry. By joining the OML, contractors help build and strengthen the voice for open-shop mechanical contractors.

    Through active member participation, OML members have the opportunity to network and connect with like-minded owner-operators. These members have exclusive access to market intelligence, trade expos, networking, and the chance to give back to the trade and industry.

    Member benefits of the OML range from vehicle and gas discounts to legal services. To see a full list of our benefits, please visit www.joinoml.ca, scheduled to launch in the fall of 2017.

    To learn more about becoming an OML member, contact us at 905-238-1382, or by email at league@oel.org.
    Stephen Sell, President