Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

October 4, 2021

EIN Swati Vora EFC 400By: Swati Vora-Patel, Electro-Federation Canada

As a new year draws near and strategic plans roll out, business leaders everywhere are keeping a close watch on drivers that are setting up new baselines for market demand and opportunities. The pandemic has reset markets, lowering demand in core segments while opening the door to new and emerging areas.

At a recent EFC conference over 500 industry members participated in a two-day online forum to explore the pandemic’s impacts on four key areas affecting our industry: markets, customers, supply chains and employees. The conference featured 17 sessions that addressed trends in these core areas and profiled new opportunities that are cycling in to help members rebound and emerge stronger than before.

EFC presented its latest research report (“Covid-19 Impacts and Opportunities for the Canadian Electrical Industry”) which included, among other findings, an outlook on construction trends and  mile markers that signal where the market spend might be as this industry moves beyond the pandemic. EFC also invited Alex Carrick from ConstructConnect (CanaData) to provide insights on construction forecasts in a post-pandemic era. The following is a summary of key insights:

New Construction Baselines

While the construction market has taken a significant hit during the past 18 months (Canadian construction starts are pegged at 1.7% this year), the market is expected to move towards steady recovery in 2022. This growth is expected to be largely driven by mega projects in these key segments:

Commercial: Although office building construction is not expected to reach pre-pandemic levels until 2025, data centre development is on the rise due to growing digital infrastructure requirements for remote work, online trading, entertainment streaming, 5G technology and artificial intelligence. According to CBRE, Canada has nearly 280 data centres operating, ranking fifth globally for data centre density. While some centres are new developments, many legacy printing facilities are being converted to support the growth of data centres. View this video to tour Canada’s largest data centre, which was once home to the Toronto Star facility in Vaughan, Ontario.



Institutional/Governmental: The outlook for new construction in this segment is robust. Hospital construction is expected to increase 64% in 2021 largely due to the aging population of Canadians. According to ConstructConnect, new hospital construction in 2020 and 2021 has grown more than eight-fold, year-over-year, due in part to large projects in Vancouver and Toronto. Advances in sustainability will also increase infrastructure spend in wind, solar and battery plant electrification to fulfill ‘greening’ goals for transportation, HVAC systems and liquefied natural gas (LNG) production.

Industrial: Canada has gained some growth in industrial construction from onshoring due to investments in production capacity and the increased automation of industrial processes. Further growth in this segment is attributed to distribution centre expansions and liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects.

  • Distribution centres: Canada’s population density in cities and consumer expectations for real-time, on-demand access to products and services, are driving requirements for decentralized distribution and amplifying the need for ‘15-minute cities’ 
  • LNG projects: according to the International Energy Agency, natural gas demand will return to pre-Covid levels, fueling the start of nearly 20 LNG projects that have been proposed in Canada: 13 in British Columbia, two in Quebec and three in Nova Scotia – with a total proposed export capacity of 216 million tons per annum (mtpa) of LNG. It’s estimated that the equivalent of 30 mtpa LNG exports from British Columbia could add nearly $7.4 billion to Canada’s annual economy over the next 30 years and raise national employment by an annual average of 65,000 jobs.

Residential: The pandemic has catapulted this segment to new heights! The housing market soared more than 50% above its long-term average of 200,000 units during the first half of 2021. While the residential market only accounts for 12% of the full electrical market mix (2021 Pathfinder Benchmarking Report), this segment will be an area for growth as homes continue to play a greater role in Canadians’ daily lives and will require ongoing adaptation to accommodate work-from-home areas and multi-use spaces.

For a comprehensive overview of these and other projections, download ConstructConnect’s Fall 2021 forecast report and visit

The Silver Lining: New Market Opportunity

While this pandemic has taken a toll on businesses and the industry at large, it has also paved a path for new opportunities to allow leaders to assess and strategize evolving market needs to emerge stronger. Mega projects in commercial, institutional, industrial and residential markets will drive the construction industry forward and will continue to place reliance on electrical and automation equipment to support infrastructure development and health and safety protocols for physical distancing, sanitization and air quality. With construction growth on the horizon and new product requirements that allow safer work environments, it is time to renew strategies and proceed into the new year with optimism!







Statistics CanadaThere were slightly fewer active businesses (-0.1%; -1,208) in May compared with a month earlier, marking the first time since May 2020 that the number of closures outpaced openings.

The number of business openings decreased by 11.5%, the largest percentage decrease since December 2018 and the second consecutive month with negative growth (Chart 1). The number of business closures declined by 2.9%, following a 2.5% increase in April. The decline in the number of business openings in May was largely driven by fewer entrants (-16.4%). The number of entrants in May was below the 2015-to-2019 average for the first time since August 2020. 

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488 Days of COVIDBy John Kerr

Looking back to early 2020, the industry entered the first quarter with a sense of a solid year ahead, one that would easily eclipse 2019, and then in mid-March the brakes went on and relatively quickly.

On both the supplier and distribution sides, many took a reactionary stance and then quietly planned their next moves. Thinking differently, adding stock and doubling down on inventory, looking at alternative shipping methods and figuring out how to stay close to the customer are among the attributes of those that pivoted well and have come out of the dark in great shape.

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Non-Mortgage Borrowing from Chartered Banks in March 2020The outstanding credit debt of private non-financial corporations doubled from the height of the financial crisis in 2008 to early 2020. At the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, businesses added a record $52.1 billion in credit debt to their balance sheets. However, according to a new study, as other sources of financing became available and businesses adapted to the pandemic, outstanding loan balances with banks declined for eight consecutive months.

The study Trends in Canadian business debt financing: Before and during COVID-19 looks at the types of credit debt private non-financial corporations incurred prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic, and examines how they used that liquidity to weather the economic turbulence during this period.

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Investment in Building Construction - May 2021Investment in building construction cooled slightly in May, decreasing 1.9% to $19.4 billion. This was the first drop in seven months. Residential construction investment (-2.7%) was down for the first time since April 2020, while non-residential construction increased slightly.

On a constant dollar basis (2012=100), investment in building construction declined 2.7% to $14.8 billion in May.




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David GordonBy David Gordon

As we transition from the pandemic many wonder about the future of sales, meaning, “What will the sales process (sales model) look like in the future,” and, essentially, “What is the role of / for outside salespeople?”

In reality, this question was asked pre-pandemic as management lamented that Sales wasn’t being as productive as they desired. Companies are always seeking to improve their processes, whether it is having salespeople better penetrate accounts, identify and call on new customers, use a different (new?) sales method...

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Changing Scene

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Premise LED Inc. is a Canadian based lighting manufacturer and market leader dedicated to supplying ...
Graybar Canada, a leading distributor of electrical, communications and data networking products ...
Nick Foster, Leviton Canada, has been appointed 2nd Vice Chair on EFC’s Atlantic Region ...
This year’s EFC Conference hosted over 500 members from all across Canada for two full days of ...
Beginning October 1st, 2021, we are pleased to announce CSA Enterprises Limited will be become the ...
ETIM North America (NA) announced that Atkore, Rexel Canada Electrical Inc, and Priority Wire ...
Atkore’s FRE Composites® fiberglass conduit recently experienced increased demand in above- and ...
Hammond Power Solutions Inc. (HPS or the Company) announced today that Chief Executive Officer and ...
Deschenes Group Inc. (“DGI”) proudly announces the acquisition of Matériaux de Plomberie PMF and ...
 Canada’s National Electrical Trade Council (NETCO) is pleased to announce that IDEAL ...


Signify“In the second quarter we saw an acceleration of the pace of recovery in comparison to the first three months of the year,” says CEO Eric Rondolat. “We successfully executed our strategy as demand for our connected lighting offers and our growth platforms remained strong.”

The consumer segment held its momentum and demand for conventional products proved resilient. The professional lighting segment showed sequential improvements, while still impacted by both extended lockdowns and supply constraints. Overall, we managed to improve the operating margin by 190 basis points and generated a solid free cash flow. 


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Adrian ThomasSchneider Electric Canada, together with the France Canada Chamber of Commerce Ontario (FCCCO) is proud to announce Adrian Thomas as the newly elected President of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Canada (EUCCAN). Thomas, who currently serves as the country president of Schneider Electric Canada is entrusted with continuing the growth of EUCCAN by reinforcing transatlantic cooperation between the European and Canadian business communities.  “I am deeply honoured for the opportunity to join EUCCAN as their new President and build on the growth they’ve experienced in recent years,” says Adrian Thomas, Country President of Schneider Electric Canada. 

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Agents of ChangeAgents of Change is an event for stakeholders from Canada's electricity and beyond to build capacities in diversity, equity and inclusion.

Agents of Change is a one-day event focused on equipping attendees with the tools they need to address the challenges under-represented groups face in the workplace. Women, Indigenous people, racialized people, persons with disabilities, LGBQ+, gender diverse people and newcomers to Canada are under-represented in electricity and often face systemic barriers. We have the power to change this disparity and transform our sector into a paragon of equity.


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Flemming Jensen, Jason Samuelian, and John ClancyLED lighting solutions manufacturer Espen Technology has announced three changes to its sales management team.

Flemming Jensen (left), previously was Vice President of the Central and South Regions, has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing. Flemming brings over 40 years of industry experience in the distribution, ESCO, and agent markets. He will focus on continuing Espen’s top line growth, in the coming years.


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Edison ReportEdisonReport has announced their 5th Annual Lifetime Achievement Awards.  These Awards will be presented the Tuesday evening, 26 OCT before LightFair begins on Wednesday, 27 OCT.

Judges for 2021 were Paul Pompeo, Nancy Clanton, and Donny Wall.  Clanton stated, “Selecting individuals for this award was extremely rewarding especially in identifying the leaders and innovators, including world class lighting designers and researchers, that truly have made a tremendous positive impact in our lighting industry.”



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Peers & Profiles

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Illumisoft Lighting is an innovative company headquartered in Ottawa that focuses on suspended ...
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 ...



Brett NicholdsBy Blake Marchand

Illumisoft Lighting is an innovative company headquartered in Ottawa that focuses on suspended ceiling troffer LED fixtures that utilize optical film technology to achieve a high level of performance and efficiency.

Their flagship product is the EcoWing, which is available for new construction and fixture in fixture retrofits. Their primary application target is office buildings, hospitals, and dealerships. Recent projects include the Department of National Defense building in Ottawa, AMPED Sports Lab, Queensway Carleton Hospital, and Surgenor Automotive Group.


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Jeffrey MoyleBy Line Goyette

“The ongoing integration of Rexel Utility into our Canadian business platforms has underscored our responsibility as an organization to find creative solutions for today’s challenges, as well as to prepare for tomorrow’s opportunities.”

This quote from Jeffrey caught my attention. Vice President, Supplier & Digital Strategy at Rexel Canada Electrical Inc., Jeffrey has extensive experience in the industry and is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario with a Master’s in Business Administration, focusing on internarial leadership.

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