Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario; photo from deerhurstresort.com

Air of optimism prevails as members look to the future and share updates.

Members of the Canadian Elevator Contractors Association (CECA) held their annual general meeting (AGM) virtually on June 2. The mood was upbeat as the group looked forward to upcoming in-person events. New leaders were welcomed and outgoing ones thanked as representatives provided overviews of the vertical-transportation industry in their regions.

With no large conventions, revenue mainly came from golf tournaments. A strong 2019 helped carry us through.

— Braden Hopkirk, who presented the Treasurer’s Report

CECA President Doug Guderian presented Western Region Chair Don Sanchez of Garaventa with the President’s Award. Guderian said:

“I’m excited to choose an individual who furthers the ideals of CECA. He has worked tirelessly to increase safety of residential elevators in Canada, done the lion’s share of the work on behalf of the Canadian contingent for the Certified Accessibility and Private Residence Lift Technician program modules update and helped determine the requirements for the CECA Private Residence Standard in Canada. From the outset, (Sanchez’s) oversight, development assistance, proofreading and general contributions to CECA have been invaluable.”

With nearly 70 in attendance, the meeting kicked off with a review of CECA’s new antitrust policy and guidelines. The group then elected two new board members, appointed a new member and reelected another. Alexander Zachata of Richmond Elevator joins the board as Western Region director and Chris Barbeau of TKE as Western Region-Prairie director. Each shared a little about themselves, with Zachata observing that he represents the third generation of a family business that includes his father, Vlad, and grandparents, Irene and Walter. “I’ve been in elevators since birth, and it’s a fantastic industry,” Zachata said. “I look forward to serving CECA any way I can.” Rob Busch of KONE was thanked for his four years of service as Western Region director.

Chris Barbeau
Chris Barbeau

Barbeau said he, too, looks forward to serving the association, and shared that he has been in the industry 15 years, the last five with TKE. Barbeau is based in Calgary. Other transitions included Karl LePage of Global Tardif stepping in to fill the vacated Eastern Region director position and Hugh Hunter of Wurtec being reelected to another four years as supplier director. The Eastern Region thanked outgoing BoD member Nicolas Moore of KONE for his time on the board.

Braden Hopkirk of Toronto-based Trident Elevator Co. Ltd. gave the Treasurer’s Report, which showed that the past 12 months of membership revenue has been “pretty good,” considering the COVID-19 pandemic. “With no large conventions, revenue mainly came from golf tournaments,” Hopkirk said. “A strong 2019 helped carry us through.”

Presented by Hunter and Jeff Collins of Renown Electric Motors & Repair Inc., the Membership Report showed there are 256 CECA members, including 12 new and two switched — Savaria, which switched from contractor to dual member, and KONE, which switched from dual to supplier. There were several cancellations, including some for cost-cutting reasons. A list of honorary and in-memoriam members was provided, and Guderian welcomed all the new members and urged members to direct any potential members to reach out to Executive Director Catharine Bothwell.

A slide presentation highlighted membership recognition recipients, which included:

  • 10 years: Alcor Elevator, Ascenseurs Vertec, Automated Integration, Elevator Equipment Corp., Flavesco, Garaventa Canada Ltd., Lift Business Advisors, Magnetek, Parts Specialists, Smartrise Engineering Inc. and Vision Interior Construction.
  • 20 years: MAD Elevator Inc. and Wurtec Inc.
  • 30 years: Brock Elevator Ltd., Bruce Elevator Service Ltd. and Motion Control Engineering
  • 40 years: Riverside Elevators Inc.

Guderian presented a proposed amendment to the CECA Constitution to remove the minimum two-years-in-business membership requirement for contractor/supplier members. He explained that, because the constitution was based on that of the National Association of Elevator Contractors (NAEC), the provision was included. “NAEC removed it in 1988, and now we are doing the same,” Guderian said. He highlighted that this change was necessary to comply with CECA’s new antitrust policy and guidelines. Members voted to confirm the change.

Julie Gilby of CKG Elevator presented the Eastern Region report. CECA hired the lobbyist Pilote in September 2020 to make headway with technical inspections and approval of engineered drawings by a third party, instead of in-house. She said members look forward to meeting with the CNESST to discuss some safety issues when COVID-19 ends. Gilby said the region and the Association de la construction du Québec, which assists construction contractors in the everyday management of their business, have committed to meeting more frequently with CECA.

Sanchez gave the Western Region report. He shared that members participated in three virtual meetings, and that contractors are required to have an updated maintenance control program (MCP) in place by September 30. Activity in British Columbia (B.C.), he said, saw a 20% rise in permits in 2020 (1,369 for new installations and 876 for alternations) versus 2019.

Sanchez said Busch met with a WorkSafeBC representative onsite in May to see a vintage, 1990s duplex traction elevator lacking cartop guardrails. “The hazards with respect to wearing fall protection were demonstrated onsite, with a strong case being made for guardrails,” according to the presentation, which also shared:

  • The B.C. elevator industry would like to see a retroactive cartop guardrail requirement similar to one in Ontario.
  • CECA pursued the issue with Technical Safety B.C. (TSBC), which met with (workers’ compensation agency) WorkSafeBC, but TSBC referred it back to WorkSafeBC.
  • Busch has been in communication with WorkSafeBC on a proposed solution.

Paul Pettener of Alcor Elevator Ltd. provided the Central Region report. He shared that the region had four meetings over the past year, including a town hall with the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) in November 2020 during which the TSSA fee structure was discussed. “Operator fees are going up, in some cases, 1,000%,” Pettener said. Central Region representatives were unsuccessful in reversing the fee increases. He said the region is “holding off on” adopting the latest codes until January 2022.

Pettener provided updates on the various industry entities, including the Elevating Devices Advisory Council and the Training and Certification Advisory Council. He also provided updates on the elevator programs at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, and Durham College in Oshawa, which is in the midst of a major addition to its Whitby campus that includes hands-on training areas for elevator students (ELEVATOR WORLD, March 2019).

Phil Staite of Quality Allied Elevator presented a report from the Construction Hoist Committee. Headed by Anthony Gregoire of Fraco, the committee met twice virtually since the last AGM. Staite shared that:

  • In Ontario, the first graduates of the Norm Been Training Academy Construction Hoist Elevating Devices Mechanic (EDM)-B license program have started to write their exams. One exam has been marked, resulting in the academy’s first EDM-B-licensed mechanic, and a second program has launched.
  • Most EDM-Bs are in their 70s, so COVID-19 has been of particular concern to this industry segment. In response to a committee request, TSSA issued an advisory that provided special provisions for construction hoist EDM-Ts with at least four years’ continuous experience to complete inspections and tests with an inspector during a periodic, extended or unscheduled inspection only if the EDM-T is approved by the director of the EDM program to perform such work.
  • Ontario continues to fight for adequate operator training.
  • CSA Z185 code was last published in 1987. Renewing this code requires collaboration between the industry and government stakeholders across Canada. To make this modification with standards organization The CSA Group, approximately CAD115,000 (US$94,915) is needed. The committee has raised almost half that. If anyone can donate to this cause, they are asked to contact Bothwell to obtain a commitment letter.

A government engagement and advocacy summary revealed that Ontario hired lobbyist WST Advocacy, which was successful in effecting an amendment to an Ontario bill to shift responsibility for reporting an elevator outage from the elevator company to the property owner or manager.

Sanchez, who provided the Private Residence Division report, said although “there are some challenges to getting contractors used to it,” the CECA Private Residence Standard and application process is up and running. The CAT program, adapted from the NAEC’s CAT program in the U.S., has been updated for Canadian codes and standards, and the last CAT module is undergoing its final edits, he said. “This promises to increase safety for owners, users and installers,” Sanchez observed.

Collins gave an update on the MCP library, a work-in-progress over the past two years. “Some of you on the supplier side may have gotten a request for information,” Collins said. “Contractors, tell us what you want to see. We are trying to make the site user-friendly.” Costs will be recovered through banner ads, and company logos of those that have already shared data are being displayed for free to “encourage everybody, including contractors, to have a look and provide feedback.”

As for new business, verbiage in the CECA constitution will be modernized to make the document more gender-neutral, including references such as “chairman” being changed to “chair.”

Gilby provided an overview of recent and upcoming CECA events, such as golf and virtual wine and beer tastings. A “tabletop” expo/golf tournament is planned on September 14-16 at the Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, Ontario. Additional upcoming events include a Western Region golf tournament on September 23 at Mayfair Lakes in Vancouver, CECA’s 50-year anniversary party and convention at Le Westin Montreal on May 31-June 2, 2022, and the 2023 convention in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on June 13-16. Bothwell ended the AGM by saying, “See everyone in September,” to which Zachata added, “in person!”  

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