Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

 DronesBy Rick McCarten

Your business will be using drones — driverless vehicles — sooner than you think. 

I was on a plane recently sitting beside a pilot who was “deadheading” back to Toronto. We started talking about technology and the latest in cars that can drive without human intervention. This discussion led me to ask: the technology is there, but is it reliable? 

I asked the pilot, “Who would trust technology that required drivers to take their hands and feet off the instruments on a busy highway?” His answer surprised me. 

He said, “Right now, the plane we are in is driving itself. There is a system on board that is monitoring all other planes in the sky. The planes’ computers are talking to each other and determining where each should be to best avoid any possible accident. If two planes come too close to each other, the system would automatically override the pilot’s command, and through conversation with the other plane, determine the routes necessary to avoid the accident. So, 250 people in a plane flying at 35,000 feet are already using and trusting the technology needed to drive a car carrying one person on the ground.” 

He went on to explain that planes flying to Europe use technology to determine how best to fly together in bulk to reduce fuel consumption. Also, as you read this article, federal regulators in the United States are developing drone flight corridors for cargo planes. Every jet engine on an airplane in the sky today is not being monitored by the pilot, but by someone sitting in front of a terminal on the ground. 

California may be less than five years away from allowing drones on roads. There are mining operations in Australia where trucks are droned and controlled by an office worker. The trucks drive 24/7, no stopping, no shift changes, no lunches or bathroom breaks. 

Amazon made headlines a few months ago, with their announcement that drones would be delivering book-sized packages to homes. 

Before we see this shift in the use of drones, we are more likely to first see an opposite effect. 

We need to think big, really big. Think container ships, called ghost ships, crossing the oceans, being piloted from a computer without a crew on board. This will improve safety; most incidents at sea result from human error. It will also save money; without a crew, there is a cost saving — not only in manpower but in fuel economy. Without the need to hurry to reach a destination for the sake of the crew, these giants of the sea can travel at slower speeds. A 30% reduction in speed saves 50% in fuel.

I recently attended a presentation by Dan Tapscott (author of Wikinomics, The Digital Economy) who is now the Chancellor of Trent University. He spoke about the need for cities to improve their public transit. When asked whether the future of public transit is light rail or subway, he said neither. His answer was “drones.” The infrastructure is in place, the technology is here. Cars today are massively underutilized. Most people drive their cars less than two hours a day. Cars are sitting idle for 90% of the time. We should all be using drones to be picking us up and dropping us off, then allowing them to move on to their next assignment. 

The same can be true for delivery trucks, all programmed from a computer desk for maximum coverage and scheduling. For a ½-tonne shrink-wrapped pallet shipped across the country, you get one type of drone arriving for the delivery, while for a three-pound package going across town you get another. All designed to fit the cargo, without a cab, just a closed box on wheels. Set the coordinates and off it goes. 

In closing, more and more technology on board a vehicle is distracting to the driver and is seen as a growing problem by regulators in this country. Ontario just increased fines for texting while driving, which is a good thing. Some people lament the use of more and more technology in cars and trucks because of the risks. I think they would be better off focusing on and eliminating the real problem creating car accidents — “the human gap” between technology and the operation of the vehicle. 

Rick McCarten is Vice President, Electrical Council, Electro-Federation Canada.


Carol McGloganBy Carol McGlogan

EFC kicked off 2021 with an outstanding webinar featuring Janice Gross Stein, renowned Canadian political scientist, founder of the Munk School of Global Affairs and recipient of the Order of Canada. Ms. Stein has spoken at previous EFC conferences, earning many accolades, and this session was no different as we learned what to look for as the Biden Administration takes hold of the White House.

Our close economic ties to the U.S. means that Canadians must “keep up with the Administrations” to survive. Janice focused her discussions on industrial policy and climate change within an active intervening government.

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Canadian Business Counts - December 2020The COVID-19 pandemic continues to alter the business landscape. Some businesses have closed permanently, some have grown and others have been temporarily closing or reopening. In October, for example, the number of business openings (41,910) exceeded the number of business closures (32,420) for the fourth consecutive month.

As a result, the number of active businesses in October edged up 0.6%. Despite the slight increase, the number of active businesses was down 6.7% from February 2020.*

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David GordonBy David Gordon

Gene Biben, formerly President and CEO of Biben Sales, joined Channel Marketing Group earlier this month. Gene’s avowed desire is to “give back” to the industry, to help people work together. He will help reps achieve their goals and manufacturers optimize their performance, and relationship, to and with manufacturer reps. He’ll additionally support Channel Marketing Group clients’ research needs.

While Gene is well known by many manufacturers, we thought it would be interesting to ask him to consider changes he has seen over the years.

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Darci SpiteriBy Darci Spiteri 

This past month marked one year since stepping onto a job site and starting my electrical apprenticeship. Little did I know 2020 would throw in some curveballs, but it was a pretty fantastic year for self-development when I sit back and reflect. 

Enter Pandemic, worldwide lockdowns, and my Jobsite shutting down for a month. Losing hours was a downside and with my apprenticeship being based on the number of hours worked, moving onto my second year will take a little extra time. 



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Changing Scene

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ABB is hosting a Smart Building thought leadership session with six webinars presented by industry ...
Electricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) announced the recipients of their Awards of Excellence ...
Guillevin International has announced the creation of a new division, Guillevin Datacom, ...
Website visitors to the freshly designed IMARK Group website will learn about all of the benefits ...
WESCO International, Inc. has announced its results for the fourth quarter and full year ...
Deschenes Group Inc. (DGI) has acquired Daltco Electric effective February 1st, 2021.   ...
With 28 years of commitment to Canadian independent distributors, and as a sign of its focus on ...
Rexel announced it has acquired the Canadian Utility business of WESCO International (WESCO Canada ...
Liteline announces the appointment of ISTED TECHNICAL SALES for representation of their products in ...
Signify Canada has announced David Grinstead, Market Leader, Canada, Signify will retire at the end ...


Seth Cook and Kerith RichardsService Wire Co. promotes Kerith Richards to Regional Sales Manager – Canada and expands Seth Cook’s sales territory to better serve the commercial and industrial markets.

Kerith Richards will serve as Regional Sales Manager based out of Service Wire’s corporate headquarters, where she will be responsible for commercial and industrial sales in all provinces. In addition, Richards will continue her role as Sales Representative for Saskatoon, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador. 



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Guillevin International Acquires Wesco's Canadian Datacom BusinessGuillevin International has announced the creation of a new division, Guillevin Datacom, which will be dedicated exclusively to various network infrastructure products. To support this new division and ensure its success, Guillevin acquires the Canadian Datacom business of WESCO International, whose team will join Guillevin's Canadian operations.

"We have targeted the WESCO business to launch our Datacom division because of the team's agility, expertise and in-depth knowledge of products from the industry's leading suppliers", said Luc Rodier, Guillevin's President and CEO. 


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IMARKWebsite visitors to the freshly designed IMARK Group website will learn about all of the benefits that accrue to members and suppliers in all IMARK divisions (Electrical.

HVACR, and Plumbing/Irrigation) as well as Luxury Products Group which supports decorative showrooms and IM Supply which is a national account sales solution for IMARK Group members. The website features videos from group leadership as well as an introductory video on the home page.




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Peers & Profiles

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“It was quite surprising,” said Stephanie Smith of being named EHRC’s Leader of the Year. ...
Ariane Cardinal is Director of Planning, Purchasing, and Distribution with Stelpro.   ...
Electrimat is an independent Quebec-owned company that has specialized for 40 years in the ...
In July, Eaton announced that Vice President, Channel – Electrical Sector, Matt Cleary would be ...
Mission Technical Solutions is a recently established sales agency founded by industry veteran ...
Omid Nadi, Trade Marketing Manager with Ledvance, is a Ryerson University grad coming out of their ...

EHRC Leader of the Year Stephanie SmithBy Blake Marchand

“It was quite surprising,” said Stephanie Smith of being named EHRC’s Leader of the Year. “Leadership in 2020 has certainly been a challenge for everybody in the world let alone the nuclear industry or the electricity industry.”

An engineer by trade, Smith spent the majority of her career with Ontario Power Generation (OPG). She was the first woman to be certified by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station where she served as Plant Manager and was recently named the first President and CEO of CANDU Owners Group. Smith is also a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion.

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