• OEL Government Relations Activities

  • Welcome to your Contractor Government Relations (GR) Updates

    Below you will find, in chronological order, how OEL's GR committee is committed to issues on your behalf, and some insight on the activities happening at Queen's Park. 

    This information is intended for OEL members only and is not meant to be distributed. For an official statement on any of the issues mentioned below, please email the provicial office at league@oel.org.


    • OEL contractors met with Premier Ford and several MPPs in February 2020 to discuss Fairness in Labour Relations
    • OEL contractors contributed to the Auditor General’s audit of the Electrical Safety Authority
    • The OEL participated in the consultation on the closing of Ontario College of Trades
    • Ensured that the voice of independent electrical contractor is heard in the current hearings being conducted to phase out the Ontario College of Trades by the Ontario Governments Skilled Trades Panel (including addressing the issue of how the electrical trade is to be kept safe through appropriate enforcement, and ensuring that the training system improves to address the skills gap)
    • Continued to work with the Ontario government to ensure that it supports the important gains made by Support Ontario Youth in supporting contractors who sponsor apprentices, as well as supporting the apprentice in completing the training journey
    • Created the new Achievement Incentive Grant, which encourages small- to medium-sized employers to train apprentices towards program completion and trade certification
    • Invested in the Apprentice Development Benefit to supplement employment insurance benefits for eligible apprentices attending full-time in-class training
    • Created the new Group Sponsorship program
    • Launched the new non-repayable Tools Grant, which provides apprentices with the costs of purchasing trade-specific tools and equipment (which was evident in their latest budget)
    • Supported a digital portal (which was evident in their latest budget)
    • Launched the new non-repayable Tools Grant, which provides between $400 and $1,000 to apprentices to assist with the costs of purchasing trade-specific tools and equipment (which was evident in their latest budget)
    • Advocated to keep the construction trades working during the COVID-19 pandemic, so that contractors see as little disruption as possible during this time



    Stewart Kiff - representing the OEL - along with the leading members of the Ontario Skills Trade Alliance (OSTA) met with NDP Leader Andrea Horwath and members of the NDP caucus on June 1 to discuss OSTA's position regarding reccomendations made by the Dean Report and issues of the current skilled trades gap in Ontario's construction industry and its impact on the Ontario economy.

  • Government Relations Committee
  • (From left to right): David Frame, Ontario General Contractors Association; Lynda Murphy, Ontario Hairstylists Association; Karl Baldalf, Ontario Chamber of Commerce; Joe Vaccaro, President, Ontario Skilled Trades Alliance; Andrea Horwath, Leader, Ontario New Democratic Party; Catherine Fife, MPP Kitchener-Waterloo; Stewart Kiff, Ontario Electrical League; Peggy Sadtler, MPP London West; Taras Natyshak, MPP Essex. 

  • Reached out to the Honorable David Orazietti, Minister of Government and Consumer Services, regarding the appointment process of ESA's Board of Directors to ensure open-shop electrical contractors are better represented at the table.


    Working with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to develop a new policy of “pooling” 308A Electrician apprentices between multiple employers in the same geographic area - to increase the number of apprenticeship spaces available.

    Supported members and participated fully in the review of the College of Trades lead by former head civil servant Tony Dean. This resulted in the “Dean Report” that has recommended favourable changes to the College of Trades. This report is waiting legislative implementation in the Ontario Legislature.

    Served as Treasurer and represented Ontario Electrical League, as a leading organization in the Ontario Skilled Trades Alliance, including providing key support to the Alliance and mobilizing political and other support in favour of OEL's position on apprenticeship ratios.

    Continued to support Ontario Electrical League members in their effort to secure a positive decision in the July 2013 judicial review based on a biased recommendation on the part of the Ratio Review Panel.

    Successfully participated in the WSIB rate framework proposal and successfully achieved new rate categories for electrical contractors that would keep their rates at the same level or even lower based on their safety history. The initial WSIB rate framework structure was combining electrical trade with other higher risk industry such as demolition which would result in significantly higher rates.

    Worked with leading Members of Provincial Parliament in all three political parties to secure support for new legislation affecting the electrical industry (announcement of the new legislation is expected by the end of June 2016).

    Participated as a key and supportive member of the Construction & Design Alliance of Ontario (CDAO) as the representative of the electrician compulsory trade within this organization.

    Represented the Ontario Electrical League dozens of times to Members of Provincial Parliament in all three parties to advocate for issues of concern to members and secure support for initiatives.

    OEL attended the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario leadership convention where Patrick Brown was selected as leader of the party.

    OEL attended key meetings of the Ontario Liberal Party and the Ontario New Democratic Party.

    Conducted advocacy work on the Construction Lien Act with respect to the needs of electrical contractors.

    OEL conducted advocacy work on Bill 112, Strengthening Consumer Protection and Electricity System Oversight Act.