Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

July 8, 2021

GDP Contracts - April 2021Real gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 0.3% in April after 11 consecutive monthly increases. With the first decline in 12 months, total economic activity remained at about 1% below its level before the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2020.

Overall, 12 of 20 industrial sectors were down as gains in goods-producing industries (+0.5%) were more than offset by contractions in services-producing industries (-0.6%).

Preliminary information indicates a decrease in real GDP of approximately 0.3% in May. The retail trade, construction and real estate rental and leasing sectors contributed the most to the declines, while the finance and insurance, and wholesale trade sectors posted gains. Because of its preliminary nature, this estimate will be revised on July 30 with the release of official GDP data for May.

Retail trade sector down following record March

Retail trade retreated 5.5% in April, dampening the previous two monthly expansions, as 10 of 12 subsectors were down.

Many provinces and territories reinstated tighter public health measures in April aimed at slowing down the third wave of COVID-19. These measures largely curtailed the strong "non-essential" shopping seen in March.

Clothing and clothing accessories (-21.0%), building material and garden equipment and supplies (-7.9%), sporting goods, hobby, book and music (-18.2%) stores and other traditional brick-and-mortar stores that rely more on in-store traffic recorded the largest declines.

Food and beverage stores (+0.5%) and miscellaneous store retailers (+0.5) were up, offsetting some of the declines.

Strength in construction sector continues

The construction sector rose 2.4% in April, up for a fifth consecutive month, as all components increased.

Residential building construction (+4.1%) led the expansion, with a fifth consecutive monthly increase. Continued growth in single-family homes and multi-unit dwellings construction more than offset lower activity in home improvements and renovations.

Repair construction increased 0.6%, while engineering and other construction activities grew 1.6%. Non-residential building construction rose 1.1%.

Real estate down as home resale activity slows

Real estate, rental and leasing contracted 0.7% in April, down for the first time since October 2020.

The output of offices of real estate agents and brokers dropped 10.6%, as home resale activity in the majority of Canadian urban centres, mainly in Ontario and British Columbia, slowed in April.

Legal services, which derive much of their activity from real estate transactions, declined 0.6% in April. Other professional, scientific and technical services, including scientific research and development, were down 0.3%, while computer systems design and related services (+0.7%) and architectural, engineering and related services (+0.5%) led growth in the broader professional, scientific and technical services sector.

Manufacturing sector retreats

The manufacturing sector contracted 1.0% in April, following 1.5% growth in March, as both durable and non-durable manufacturing declined in April.

Durable manufacturing decreased 1.8% in April, following a 2.1% increase in March, on declines largely concentrated in transportation equipment. The subsector was down 8.6% as the global semiconductor chip shortage contributed to production disruptions in motor vehicle (-20.9%) and motor vehicle parts (-13.4%) manufacturing industries.

Non-durable manufacturing edged down 0.2% in April, as five of the nine subsectors were down. Contributing the most to the decline was plastics and rubber products manufacturing (-6.4%). Lower demand from motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts manufacturers partially contributed to this decrease. Petroleum and coal product manufacturing contracted 3.3%, as some refining facilities suspended activities for maintenance in April. Offsetting some of the decrease were gains in chemical manufacturing (+3.4%) and food manufacturing (+1.5%), which recorded a notable increase in seafood product preparation associated with an early start to snow crab fishing in April.

Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction up

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction grew 1.4% in April, as all three subsectors were up. The gain in April came on the heels of a 1.7% increase in March

Mining and quarrying (except oil and gas) rose 1.5% in April, following a 2.4% gain in March. Metal ore mining (+3.0%) led the growth, as iron ore (+5.9%) and copper, nickel, lead and zinc mining (+4.8%) made the largest contribution to the growth. Coal mining increased 1.8% in April, while non-metallic mineral mining declined 2.4%, mainly as a result of lower potash and diamond mining.

Support activities for mining, and oil and gas extraction grew 7.9% in April, as all types of services were up.

Oil and gas extraction edged up 0.2% in April. A 1.9% decline in oil sands extraction, resulting from lower synthetic oil production in Alberta, was more than offset by a 2.7% increase in oil and gas extraction (except oil sands), as both crude petroleum extraction and natural gas extraction were up.

The public sector continues to grow

The public sector (educational services, health care and social assistance, and public administration) grew 0.3% in April, as most components were up.

The health care and social assistance sector rose 1.3% in April, up for the 12th month in a row, with ambulatory health care services (+2.4%) leading the growth.

The public administration sector grew 0.4% in April, led by federal government public administration (excluding defence) (+1.0%), in part as a result of a ramping up of preparation activities prior to the 2021 Census of Population and 2021 Census of Agriculture.

The educational services sector declined 1.3% in April, driven by a 3.0% decrease in elementary and secondary schools. In 2021, the Government of Ontario moved the annual spring break from mid-March to mid-April to limit the spread of COVID-19. This decision led to an atypical decline in output, resulting from the one week less of class in April.

The accommodation and food services sector decline

Accommodation and food services declined 4.6% in April, following the reintroduction of lockdown measures across many parts of the country to combat the third wave of COVID-19.
Food services and drinking places contracted 6.5%, as activity across all forms of establishments decreased in April.

Despite continued domestic and international travel restrictions, accommodation services rose 0.5% in April. A decline in traveller accommodation was more than offset by an increase in activity at recreation vehicle parks and recreational camps and rooming and boarding houses, with camping continuing to be an alternative to international travel for Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other sectors

The finance and insurance sector declined 0.6%, as credit intermediation and monetary authorities (-0.5%), financial investment services, funds and other financial vehicles (-1.5%), and insurance carriers and related activities (-0.4%) were down.

The transportation and warehousing sector decreased 0.8% in April. Rail transportation (-2.9%), pipeline transportation (-2.4%) and support activities for transportation (-1.1%) were major contributors to the decline.

The utilities sector was down 1.2%. Warm weather coupled with reduced industrial and commercial output contributed to declines in electric power generation, transmission and distribution (-1.3%) and natural gas distribution (-2.4%).

The wholesale sector edged down 0.2% in April as a 7.0% jump in building material and supplies wholesaling and a 0.9% increase in personal and household goods wholesaling were more than offset by declines in the remaining seven subsectors.

Source: Statistics Canada,

Swati Vora-PatelBy Swati Vora-Patel

The electrical market is at the helm of innovation — from robotics and automation products that support advanced manufacturing to smart technology in homes and businesses, our industry leads innovation and competitiveness in Canada.

With advanced electrical and automation products shaping how we work, live and play, our industry is continually at the forefront of designing technologies that meet the needs of Canadians today.



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Merertu Mogga FrissaBy Merertu Mogga Frissa

Someone once asked me why we struggle with diversity and inclusion in Canada. My response was that we have never taken the time to discuss the value of both as a society. While Canada identifies itself as a multicultural country, the diverse make-up of the population itself is made to exist in a vacuum and outside of what multiculturalism seeks to achieve.

This oversight forces the discussion about racism to exist within the limits of communities impacted by it while completely removing it from conversations at social and institutional levels.

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Business Openings - March 2021In March 2021, the number of business openings increased by 1.6%, as public health restrictions were less restrictive in many provinces compared with earlier in the year. After rising steadily over the previous three months, the number of business closures edged down 0.7% in March. The number of active businesses in March was 1.3% below the level observed before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decrease in business closures from February to March 2021 was relatively widespread across provinces and territories, with the exception of Yukon, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, where closures increased slightly.

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Catalyst For ChangeBy John Kerr

At this time of year my colleagues and I here at Kerrwil are in the final throes of producing Pathfinder, the annual benchmarking report we publish in collaboration with Electro-Federation Canada (EFC).

After reviewing the changes and the recent acquisitions and moves of the past year through the lens of COVID, I share below some notes on milestones of the past year. They provide context for what I see as a new direction the industry may be taking.

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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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Schneider Electric Canada, together with the France Canada Chamber of Commerce Ontario ...
Agents of Change is an event for stakeholders from Canada's electricity and beyond to build ...
Schneider Electric is introducing a personalized digital experience for logged in customers ...
Effective August 1st, 2021, Resilient Sales Corp, led by its Principal Sean Atkinson, will serve as ...
Innovair Corporation is a major supplier of air conditioning and heat pump equipment in Latin ...
Service Wire is proud to announce that Kerith Richards has been selected as one of tED Magazine’s ...
Stanpro (Standard Products Inc.) announced the start of its 60th anniversary celebrations. ...
Calling all Members of Electro-Federation Canada! Showcase your marketing programs and demonstrate ...
AD’s electrical team hosted the 2021 Virtual AD Spring Network Meeting April 21-22, welcoming over ...
Arkadiusz Turoczy has joined ECS Electrical Cable Supply Ltd. as the company’s ECS team as Regional ...


AD Spring Network Meeting  AD’s electrical team hosted the 2021 Virtual AD Spring Network Meeting April 21-22, welcoming over 300 member attendees from U.S., Canada and Mexico.

While the meeting itself took place over two days, AD hosted weekly strategic supplier webinars for several weeks leading up to the meeting, where AD members heard updates from supplier partners on market conditions, plans to win with AD and opportunities available in areas like training, unique products and AD program participation and engagement.



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Arkadiusz TuroczyArkadiusz Turoczy has joined ECS Electrical Cable Supply Ltd. as the company’s ECS team as Regional Manager of the Quebec region, reporting to Rick Vascotto, Executive Vice-President Sales, Eastern Canada.

Arkadiusz will be responsible for leading the sales organization in the Quebec region, working closely with Marie-Claude Marois and Rick Vascotto, to continue growing market share in the Quebec region and building business. Arkadiusz has industry experience working with Future Electronics as a sales manager and most recently as an international account manager. He will be located at his home office in Montreal.

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ABB RailWith passengers' safety, reliability and sustainability at the forefront, ABB delivered its traction power substation, the electrical heart of the Finch West LRT in northwest Toronto.

In collaboration with CYMI, a Grupo ACS company specializing in rail electrification systems, ABB successfully installed the traction power substation of the Finch West Light Rail Transit (LRT) project. After achieving this important milestone, ABB is on track to deliver the balance of the traction power substations that will ensure continued support for the new LRT line in 2023.


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EFCRegister today for this whole new virtual experience, featuring dynamic speakers, sought-after keynotes, concurrent learning tracks, expanded programming and more.

Learn from a dynamic group of speakers about change management strategies and execution, risk management and forecasting, and diversity and inclusion practices.





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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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Copper $US Dollar price per pound

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