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Welcome New President & Board

 New ECA Ottawa President, Johannes Ziebarth, CEO of Ziebarth Electric Company, is pleased to welcome the 2022-2023 Board of Directors as elected at ECA Ottawa’s 57th Annual General Meeting last evening. Joining Mr. Ziebarth on the Board are:   Executive: President – Johannes Ziebarth, Ziebarth Electric Company Vice President – Roch Picknell, Wired Synergy Treasurer – Chris Crawford, C & M Electric Past President – Stacy Anderson, Toban Electric   Directors: Adam MacArthur, Adam MacArthur Electric Scott Winch, City Wye’d Electric Jeff Tremblay, T & M Electric Mark Conrad, Carleton Electric Bob Brennan, Bradley Kelly Construction Audrey Kroon Lowther, Kroon Electric .

CITY UPDATES VACCINATION POLICY

To align with the easing of restrictions by the Province, the City of Ottawa will be amending its Mandatory Vaccination Policy to apply only to employees in identified high-risk settings including long-term care employees, shelter and respite centre workers, and paramedics, effective April 4. The City is having internal discussions regarding the application of the policy to vendors working in these setting and will provide an update as soon as possible. The mandatory masking requirement for indoor settings was lifted on March 21, 2022. Masks will still be required in long-term care homes.

Mask Mandate Ends Today

Masks are no longer mandatory in most indoor settings in Ontario.

The Ontario government has lifted the mask mandate for indoor settings, including schools, restaurants, fitness centres and cinemas as of Monday, March 21, 2022. Masks will no longer be mandatory for shopping, bars, gyms, stores, malls, banks, theatres and pharmacies among other locations. Most secondary schools will remove masking madates although some colleges and univesities will keep their policies in place for the time being. Health care facilities, retirement homes, shelters and public transit weill require masking until further notice.

Lifting MandatorY Masks

On March 9, 2022, Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health issued a statement lifting mandatory masking as of March 21, 2022. With continued improvement in trends, Ontario will remove the mandatory masking requirement for most settings on March 21, 2022 with the exception of select settings such as public transit, health care settings, long-term care homes and congregate care settings.

WSIB Employer Rebates

The Minister of Labour Training and Skills Development, Monte McNaughton, announced this morning that the WSIB will be making a distribution of its surplus funds to safe employers in advance of the upcoming Ontario general election on June 2nd.  Here are some of the details:

  • The WSIB will distribute up to $1.5 billion from its surplus funds to eligible Schedule 1 employers in April 2022
  • The amount of the surplus distribution that an eligible employer will receive is approximately equal to 30 per cent of the premiums the employer paid in 2019 or 2020, whichever is higher
  • To be eligible (to be considered a safe employer) to receive a share of the April 2022 surplus distribution, an employer must meet all the following eligibility requirements:
  1. have an active account as of January 31, 2022
  2. had premium obligations in either 2019 or 2020
  3. have not been convicted of a Workplace Safety and Insurance Act or an Occupational Health and Safety Act offence in a proceeding under Part III of the Provincial Offences Act, in 2021 or in 2022 up to and including the date the WSIB issues rebates
  4. have not been convicted in more than one such proceeding between 2017 and 2022 up to and including the date the WSIB issues rebates
  • A surplus funds credit will be applied to eligible employers’ accounts in April 2022. Credits will be displayed on their statement of account.
  • Businesses that are up to date with their premium payment and reporting can contact employeraccounts@wsib.on.ca to receive their surplus credit by cheque after it has been applied to their account. 
  • The WSIB will continue to evaluate its financial and investment results to determine if it is in a position to distribute surplus funds above its needed reserve in future years.
  • With regard to eligibility requirements to receive a share of a possible distribution of surplus funds in future years, if the WSIB is in a position to provide a distribution of surplus funds, it will be guided by the legislative and regulatory requirements and authority at that time.

The WSIB’s new President & CEO will be attending tomorrow’s Ontario Business Coalition meeting tomorrow and I have a meeting with the new Chair, Grant Walsh on Friday so I may have more details to share in time for our upcoming meetings.

This distribution of surplus WSIB funds will pump $1.5 billion back into the economy and will cost the provincial treasury government of Ontario absolutely nothing. 

Ontario Removing Restrictions

The next phase of measures being eased wil start on February 17, 2022 at 12:01 a.m. As a result, sociaal gatherings will increase to 50 indoors, 100 outdoors. Other outdoors events will have no limits. Limits will also be removed on restaurants, bars, gyms, theatres, casinos and sport facilities. Further lifting of restrictions is scheduled for March 1, 2022.

OTTAWA Begins Opening

Starting Monday, Janaury 31, 2022 Ontarians can go back to enjoying restaurants, bars, gyms, shopping, sports, museums and increased gathering numbers. Indoors, you are allowed up to 10 people and up to 25 outdoors. On February 21 those numbers are expected to increase to 25 indoors and 100 outdoors. If you’re tired of working from home, the legal requirement has now been lifted and you can go back to the office.

ONTARIO EASES RESTRICTIONS

Today, the Ontario government released details of steps to gradually ease public health measures. Starting January 31, 2022, indoor gathering limits will increase to 10 people and 25 people outdoors. Capacity limits will also increase to 50% in restaurants, bars, retailers, malls, sports and rec facilities, gyms, cinemas, meetings and events and more. February 21 will see the indoor limit increase to 25 people and 100 outdoors and increased limits on public settings. March 14 will see indoor limits increase to 50 and no limits on outdoors.

TEMporary Electric Rate Relief

Starting today, the Ontario government is providing 21 days of electricity-rate relief to support families and workers spending more time at home, as well as small businesses, consistent with the length of time the province is in modified Step Two public health measures. As of 12:01 AM today electricity prices are lowered to the off-peak rate of 8.2 cents per kilowatt-hour — less than half the on-peak rate — 24 hours per day.

ECA Ottawa Reschedules AGM

ECA Ottawa’s Board of Directors has agreed to reschedule this years AGM to April 12, 2022. It is the goal of the Board to host the event in-person but if that is not viable, the AGM will be pivoted to a virtual format. Details on times, Board nominations and presenters are available on the ECA Ottawa website.