Canadian Electrical Wholesaler


Canadian MoneyIn 2012, total underground activity was $42.4 billion in Canada or about 2.3% of gross domestic product (GDP). This proportion had trended down during the mid- to late 1990s from a high of 2.7% in 1994 to a low of 2.2% in 2000. However, after a brief uptick in the early 2000s the proportion remained relatively stable between 2.3% and 2.4%.

Chart 1: Underground economy as a proportion of GDP, 1992 to 2012 

 Canada underground 1

In 2012, these four industries accounted for two-thirds of the total underground economy value added:

• residential construction (28.3%)

• finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing and holding companies (13.8%)

• retail trade industry (12.2%)

• accommodation and food services industry (11.6%) 

Underground economic activity can also be examined from an expenditure perspective. In 2012, household final consumption expenditure accounted for 65.2% of underground economy activity. Business gross fixed capital formation accounted for another 28.4%, exports 9.2% and imports negative 2.9%.

Underground activities related to household final consumption expenditure could have amounted to $2,025 per household in 2012. The top five categories of underground activity per household were related to expenditures on food and beverage services ($408 per household), paid rental fees for housing ($388 per household), tobacco ($164 per household), alcoholic beverages ($151 per household) and the operation of transportation vehicles ($117 per household).

Examined from the income-based approach, the largest share of the underground economy income went to employees (47.7%), followed by corporations (28.8%) and unincorporated businesses (23.4%). Wages paid under the table and undeclared tips accounted for an estimated $20.3 billion in 2012 or equivalent to 2.2% of the official GDP estimates of compensation of employees. This amount represented $1,466 for every job in the business sector in 2012.

Underground economy by province and territory

The total value of underground economic activity in 2012 was the highest in the four largest economies: Ontario ($15.3 billion), Quebec ($10.4 billion), British Columbia ($5.9 billion) and Alberta ($4.8 billion).

Between 2007 and 2012, underground activity increased in every province. Saskatchewan (+39.6%) and Newfoundland and Labrador (+31.1%) recorded the largest gains, while the Northwest Territories (+5.4%) and Nunavut (+7.1%) posted the smallest.

Despite changes in the value of underground activity, the underground economy as a proportion of GDP remained relatively stable in every province and territory. The underground economy as a proportion of GDP was the largest in Prince Edward Island, while Nunavut and the Northwest Territories had the smallest share.

Chart 2: Underground economy as a proportion of official GDP by province and territory, 2012


 Canada Underground 2

The underground economy accounted for 3.3% of GDP in Prince Edward Island in 2012. Retail trade as well as accommodation and food services, which the study assumes are most likely to have underground activity, make up larger shares of Prince Edward Island's GDP relative to other provinces. These industries, along with residential construction and manufacturing, account for the majority of underground activity in Prince Edward Island.

As a proportion of GDP, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories had the smallest underground economy, accounting for 0.7% and 0.9% respectively. This study assumes that there is no underground activity in the government sector, and that under reporting of revenues (or over reporting of expenses) is less likely to occur in highly regulated industries or in large businesses. Public administration and mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction make up large shares of the economies in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.

Source: Statistics Canada,


Nexans Webinar - Key 2021 Electrical Code Changes Impacting Wire and Cable

Nexans Free WebinarJoin NEXANS for a free webinar with Isaac Müller, Applications Engineer for Nexans as he reviews and discusses the changes to the 2021 Canadian Electrical Code related to wire and cable. This free webinar will take place Wed, Jan 27, 2021 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST.

This webinar includes:
- Updated rules to protect cables (12-514,12-516)
- New conditions of use for wire & cable (Table 19)
- An opportunity to ask your questions


Click here to register today.

Pandemic StudyThe year 2020 was filled with surprises. One of them was business solvency.

Insolvencies were down by almost one-third year over year during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and were relatively stable in the third quarter. At the height of this century’s previous economic shocks, insolvencies rose by 10% or more. A new study looks at insolvencies during the largest economic upheaval of our lifetime.




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Douglas BaldwinBy John Kerr

My father asked me to lunch one day and told me he wanted very much to meet with someone in the electrical industry who meant a lot to him, and whose friendship he wanted to share with me. This lunch, in 1982, was with Doug Baldwin.

As lunch progressed, I discovered these men shared many bonds after having met years before in Winnipeg. Doug was with Federal Pioneer at that time, my father with Triangle Conduit & Cable. It seems they hit it off and my father’s wry sense of humour was trumped only by Doug’s. 

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Wholesale Sales - November 2020Wholesale sales grew for the seventh consecutive month in November — up 0.7% to an all-time high of $67.4 billion. Five of seven subsectors reported stronger sales, led by the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector and the building material and supplies subsector. Notably, the increase reflects higher domestic sales of Canadian goods, as both imports and exports of key commodities fell in November.

Wholesale trade volumes increased 0.9% in November.



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Sean BernardBy Sean Bernard

Last year was like none other and one that we all hope never to endure again. The impact on our personal and professional lives has been dramatic, simultaneously universal and unique to each of us.

We have all heard about and experienced the heartache of not spending time with and not celebrating milestones with our extended families, not being able to take those planned vacations, and having to deal with the stresses and challenges of virtual learning with our kids.


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Changing Scene

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Driven by ever increasing level of sales approaching $6.25 billion dollars across the expanding ...
Signify Canada has announced David Grinstead, Market Leader, Canada, Signify will retire at the end ...
Bartle & Gibson has announced that Greg Stephenson has officially joined the ...
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Martin Stephenson Signify Canada has announced David Grinstead, Market Leader, Canada, Signify will retire at the end of the month. "We thank David for his contributions, passion and dedication to the company and industry," said the company via press release.

Martin Stephenson will take on the Market Leader, Canada role in addition to his current position as Head of North American Systems & Services at Signify. He reports to Kevin Poyck, Market Group Leader, Americas.




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Greg StephensonBartle & Gibson has announced that Greg Stephenson has officially joined the Electrical Supply Division (ESD) of the AD Canada Electrical Divisional Board effective January 4th, 2021.

Greg is the Senior Vice President Electrical at Bartle & Gibson, based in Edmonton, Alberta. He is now entering his 27th year in the Electrical Industry and he originally began his career working for another proud AD Member, McLoughlan Supplies Ltd in St, John’s NL. During his career, Greg has also worked for many key suppliers such as, Eaton, Thomas & Betts and Siemens.



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Peers & Profiles

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Ariane Cardinal is Director of Planning, Purchasing, and Distribution with Stelpro.   ...
Following Groupe Stelpro’s recent acquisition of floor heating system manufacturer Flextherm, Yves ...
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 ...
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Ariane CardinalBy Blake Marchand

Ariane Cardinal is Director of Planning, Purchasing, and Distribution with Stelpro. Ariane owns a bachelor’s degree in Engineering, although she said, “I always knew, when I was doing engineering, that I wanted to have a career more oriented towards management.”

After earning her degree, she did an internship with a company in the gas industry based out of Paris, France, which is where she was introduced to supply chain management. Ariane noted she was interested in the problem-solving aspects of supply chain, which meshed well with her engineering background. 

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