Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

March 15 206

Municipalities issued building permits worth $6.4 billion in January, a decline of 9.8% from the previous month. This decline, which followed a 7.7% increase in December, was largely due to lower construction intentions for multi-family dwellings in British Columbia and Ontario and, to a lesser extent, institutional buildings in Quebec and Alberta.

Chart 1: Total value of permits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The value of residential building permits fell 12.5% to $4.0 billion in January, following an 11.5% increase the previous month. Declines were posted in seven provinces, led by Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick recorded advances.

Municipalities issued $2.4 billion worth of non-residential building permits in January, down 4.8% from a month earlier. Declines were registered in seven provinces, led by Quebec and Saskatchewan. Gains were reported in Ontario, Alberta, the Northwest Territories and New Brunswick.

Residential sector: lower construction intentions for multi-family dwellings

The value of permits for multi-family dwellings fell 21.0% to $1.8 billion in January, following a 27.7% gain in December. Declines were reported in six provinces, led by British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Alberta. Nova Scotia reported the largest advance.

Construction intentions for single-family dwellings were down 4.1% to $2.2 billion in January. The value was fairly stable at around $2.3 billion for the last four months. Gains in five provinces were not sufficient to offset the notable decrease in Ontario.

Municipalities approved the construction of 15,704 new dwellings in January, down 13.2% from the previous month. The decline mainly resulted from multi-family dwellings, which fell 18.4% to 10,194 new units. Single-family dwellings were down 1.8% to 5,510 new units.

Chart 2: Residential and non-residential sectors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Non-residential sector: decrease in institutional and commercial construction intentions

Institutional construction intentions were down 20.2% to $573 million in January, the third consecutive monthly decline. Lower construction intentions for educational institutions, nursing homes and other government buildings accounted for the majority of the decline. Increases in five provinces were not sufficient to offset the notable decreases in Quebec, Alberta and Saskatchewan. British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and New Brunswick recorded the largest advances.

The value of commercial permits fell 7.1% to $1.3 billion in January, following a 12.5% increase in December. Lower construction intentions for retail complexes and storage buildings accounted for the majority of the decline. Decreases were reported in eight provinces, led by Ontario. The only provinces to post gains were Alberta and New Brunswick.

Industrial construction intentions were up 30.6% to $521 million in January, following a decline of 12.9% in December. The advance at the national level was largely the result of higher construction intentions for maintenance and transportation-related buildings. Increases were posted in five provinces, most notably Ontario and Alberta.

Provinces: Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec post largest declines

The total value of building permits was down in eight provinces in January. Ontario posted the largest decline, followed by British Columbia and Quebec.

The total value of building permits in Ontario was down 10.8% to $2.5 billion in January, following an 8.8% increase in December. The decline was largely attributable to lower construction intentions for single-family homes, multi-family dwellings and commercial buildings.

In British Columbia, the value of building permits fell 11.1% to $1.2 billion in January, following an increase of 11.3% the previous month. Lower construction intentions for multi-family dwellings and commercial buildings offset gains reported in the other components.

In Quebec, the value of building permits declined 11.7% to $973 million, after edging up for two consecutive months. Lower construction intentions were reported for every component other than single-family homes. The decrease was largely attributable to multi-family dwellings, institutional structures and commercial buildings.

Lower construction intentions in most census metropolitan areas

In January, the total value of building permits was down in 22 of the 34 census metropolitan areas, with Toronto registering the largest decrease, followed by Calgary and Vancouver.

In Toronto, the value of building permits was down 19.7% in January compared with one month earlier. Lower construction intentions were reported in every component other than industrial buildings. The value of permits for single-family homes led the decline, followed by multi-family dwellings and institutional structures.

In Calgary, the value of building permits declined 37.8% in January as a result of lower construction intentions in all components, excluding institutional structures. The largest decreases were reported for multi-family dwellings and industrial buildings.

Construction intentions in Vancouver were 13.8% lower in January compared with one month earlier. The decline in the value of building permits was largely due to multi-family dwellings.

Source: Statistics Canada, www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/160308/dq160308a-eng.htm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CEW market research 400By John Kerr

The past nine weeks have been to say the least a challenge across the electrical industry. From agents to suppliers, from end users to the electrical channel, all have been affected, all have been forced to think differently and all have begun the journey to retooling the way we operate.

This is the third report in our series quantifying and exploring how electrical wholesalers have had to adapt and how they are looking to find a way forward. For this we have taken a different approach from our previous reports in that we have incorporated the results from our recent survey alongside personal interviews and discussions with electrical distributor teams across Canada

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arkest Before the Dawn, Part 2

CEW 9 JK Figure 1 700By John Kerr

I spoke in my previous article about my father’s quote darkest before the dawn. Well, he had another saying clearly brought forward by his growing up in the depression. He would say, “Money is not everything. It just helps,” and at a time like this when there are so many storylines of effort above and beyond the call, and so many initiatives underway by electrical distributors, there will be a rallying right across the country. The electrical distributors are moving, reacting, and more adaptable than ever before. 

The current situation we find ourselves in is to say the least fluid, dynamic and somewhat disconcerting for many, but underlying it is a focused, disciplined approach to addressing the new norm and new reality. Some branches remain closed, some open with minimal staff, and others rotating staff and working differently than ever before.

Recent public reports by Wesco and Rexel have indicated drops approaching 23% through mid April and clearly ones that demonstrated a slowdown from mid March. Our discussions with both distributors and end users/contractors alike confirm their buying and purchasing activity were curtailed more aggressively in early April.

Over 106 electrical distributors responded to our recent survey with 73% from corporate and branch management. 

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Gurvinder ChopraBy Gurvinder Chopra

This June, Canadians will commemorate Electrical Safety Month; June also marks the fourth month of the COVID-19 pandemic national lockdown. For many Canadians, working from home has become the new normal. As confinement continues, the demand for constant power feed to connect to the world we now live, work, and play in at home has grown substantially. Homes are being equipped with new technologies that offer plenty of benefits, but they also place high demand on electrical systems at home, potentially causing serious safety risks. 

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David GordonBy David Gordon

In talking with distributors and manufacturers it is clear that many are actively in the planning and pivoting mode, moving from survivability to thriveability. They’ve stabilized their business financially, emotionally (from a staff viewpoint) and operationally. Now they are looking at “doing business,” and more financially secure ones are identifying ways to take share.

This doesn’t mean that others are not planning and pivoting. Some didn’t miss a beat; others typically don’t do much planning and live in the moment. 

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Building Permits - MarchThe total value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities decreased 13.2% to $7.4 billion in March, with declines reported in seven provinces and two territories. The $1.1 billion national decrease was the largest since August 2014. This reflected notable drops in Ontario (-12.9%), Quebec (-18.1%) and British Columbia (-19.4%), which coincided with efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

 Value of residential permits down

The total value of residential permits decreased 13.1% to $4.6 billion in March.

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Northern TransformerNorthern Transformer Corporation, a manufacturer of power transformers for the North American utility market based in Toronto, announced the acquisition of the North American brand, products and designs of VRT Power Ltd. of Tel Aviv, Israel. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

With more than 300 utility grade power transformers and mobile substations installed in North America, VRT Power’s best in class technology for low noise, compact footprints, tailored solutions and proven reliability is highly regarded by leading utility clients.

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Sonepar's Gaurav SharmaA new video featuring Sonepar’s Vice President of eCommerce and Digitalization, Gaurav Sharma, answers COVID-19 related questions regarding Sonepar Canada’s digital solutions, his team, and the future of eCommerce in the electrical wholesale industry.

Among new solutions introduced by Sonepar: customers can now create an online account through a simple text message. Traffic on Sonepar’s website has tripled since the pandemic began, and the number of new accounts has doubled. Many Sonepar locations also feature curbside pick-up.

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Schneider ElectricThe Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Hugo Lafontaine, Vice-President Digital Energy at Schneider Electric Canada. CABA is an international nonprofit industry association that provides information, education and networking to help promote advanced technologies for the automation of homes and buildings.

“We are delighted to welcome Hugo Lafontaine to CABA's Board,” said Ron Zimmer, CABA President & CEO “He brings a stellar background in building systems integration and the building automation market, and a wealth of insight into the digital platforms and solutions that will define smart-building innovations now and into the future.”

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Harold HayesHarold Hayes, a stalwart of the electrical industry, passed away peacefully in Scarborough, Ontario at the age of 90 on May 9, 2020.

Harold joined the industry as an apprentice at age 18, working first for his father’s business, Power Cable Installations, and then for Comstock. Among his later accomplishments, he formed Federal Pioneer Electric’s electric heating division, served as president of the Ontario Electric League in 1985, and while in his 80s consulted for Intellimeter Canada Inc.

 

 

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Sarah SilversteinBlake Marchand

Sarah Silverstein is a principal with Liteline along side her two brothers Mark and Daniel. Together, they lead the company founded by their father, Steve Silverstein, who retired in 2018.

Although she initially pursued a career in outdoor education, Sarah was instrumental in the company’s expansion into architectural lighting and the U.S. market. She joined Liteline as a project manager in between stints working in outdoor education. Now she leads Liteline’s U.S. distribution arm and marketing department.

 

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