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Fall is officially upon us. Leaves are changing, the days of thirty degree weather have passed, and Halloween is right around the corner.  Apple and pumpkin spice everything signify the transition from air conditioning to heaters and the ramp up to the busiest time of year in electricity in which safety and dependable power reach their greatest importance (also Christmas lights!).

This issue of our newsletter features another annual Fall event, the announcement of the winner of the EHRC Award of Excellence for Leader of the Year. Other topics covered include a new EHRC member, mentorship, pre-apprenticeship, and opportunities for women. We've also got article suggestions for you to check out on a variety of subjects so keep reading to find out more!

Leader of the Year!

Congratulations goes out to Power Workers' Union President, Don MacKinnon, the 2015 winner of EHRC's Leader of the Year Award of Excellence.

Mr. MacKinnon has been a leading figure in Ontario's electricity industry for almost 30 years. A Powerline Technician by trade, he began his apprenticeship with Ontario Hydro in 1971 and in  2012 was awarded the Order of Ontario, the highest honour in the province for his achievements as a life-long advocate for Ontario's energy industry. Known throughout the electricity industry as an honest, innovative, intelligent and tireless proponent of the industry and the people that work in it, Don inspires a shared vision by creating for others an ideal and unique image of what is possible. 

Speaking on behalf of Electricity Human Resources Canada, Norm Fraser, Chair, congratulated Mr. MacKinnon: "We are delighted to recognize Don as this year's winner. He is one of the most respected and hard-working individuals working in the industry today, and widely recognized as an innovator, a problem solver, and a steadying influence in the industry."
This year EHRC received the highest number of submissions ever and this will also celebrate our 10th anniversary!  For more details on how to register for the event, as well as the other awards to be presented, visit

There you will also find several sponsorship opportunities as well.

A big t hank you to our sponsors:

For details on how you can become a program sponsor, click here.
EHRC Welcomes PowerStream, 
Our Newest Member!

PowerStream is a community-owned energy company providing power and related services to more than 375,000 customers residing or owning a business in communities located immediately north of Toronto and in Central Ontario. It is jointly owned by the Cities of Barrie, Markham and Vaughan. Congratulations to Brian Bentz, President and CEO of PowerStream, who on September 22nd was named one of 'Canada's Clean50' champions for 2016, in recognition of his leadership in advancing the cause of sustainability in Canada over the past two years.

Change is in the Air

The industry has seen a number of changes over the summer. EHRC would like to congratulate Jeffrey J. Lyash, new President and CEO of Ontario Power Generation, May Schmidt, new President and CEO at Hydro One, and Scott Rainkie as interim President and CEO of Manitoba Hydro.

Call for Mentors

Over the coming month EHRC will be issuing a call for mentors for the pilot of our Connected Women project, which will see the development of a national mentorship program for women working in technical or trades roles in the sector. We will be looking for both men and women who are committed to providing guidance and support to those women who are studying to enter/working in the sector.

Program partners include Hydro One, Ontario Power Generation, Manitoba Hydro, Hydro Ottawa, Algonquin College, along with Women in Nuclear-Canada (WiN), International Brotherhood Electrical Workers (IBEW), Power Worker's Union (PWU), the Society of Energy Professionals, Electrofederation and WESCO.

For more information on the project click here:

If you would like to be considered as a mentor please email Michelle Branigan at

OPG President and CEO Jeffrey Lyash with EHRC CEO Michelle Branigan, September 30th at the 2nd Connected Women national steering committee meeting, hosted by OPG.

To see how one man plans to answer the call to diversify the workforce, read  the following article from Jim Taggart, CEO of Electrofederation:

Congratulations to Georgian Bay and Upper Canada Districts!

EHRC CEO Michelle Branigan recently had the opportunity to speak at the 2015 Georgian Bay/Upper Canada Districts Annual Meeting (Electricity Distributors Association). During the event, members raised over $17,000 for the JW Marriott "Rock for Kids" charity which support SickKids. These funds will have a big impact at SickKids, addressing high priority needs for their most vulnerable patients.

Centennial College and Women in the Electrical Trades - Employers Wanted!


Female students in Centennial College's / YWCA pre-apprenticeship electrical program are looking of for on-the-job training so they can fulfill an 8 week job placement as part of their program.


The women have just completed their level 1 in-class apprenticeship training in their trade and related health and safety training. Companies can help to provide a good learning environment and some work experience. Subsidies are available to employers for the student's salary and having a student on site will not affect a company's apprenticeship ratios. 


The industry relies heavily on skilled trades and the sector is currently challenged by an aging workforce that is set to retire soon. Fewer young people are entering the trades, so it's important that we support those who do - especially women. Please contact Dave McGregor at Centennial College (416-289-5000 ext. 3437) or Catherine McEwen at YWCA (416-266-0303).

New Network for Women

The WinSETT Leadership Network (WLN) is a private online community of women in Science, Engineering, Trades and Technology, moderated and managed by the WinSETT Centre.  The network:

  • shares stories, articles, blogs, articles, videos, upcoming events, and links to local organizations of interest to the Women In SETT community and
  • provides opportunities to enable Women in SETT to learn, meet others and be supported as they grow their leadership in SETT fields; changing the world in the process.
If you would like to join, please email Susan Hollett, the Coordinator of the WinSETT Leadership Program and she will send you the link.

Red Seal Update

Did you know that the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship (CCDA), has launched the  "RSE" acronym (Red Seal Endorsement)  for qualified skilled journeypersons? As of June 2015 Anyone holding a Red Seal endorsement can begin using RSE on their business cards and promotional materials.  

EHRC in the News

EHRC CEO, Michelle Branigan, recently wrote articles for Canadian Electrical Industry News Week and Ryerson University's career blog, speaking to the non-technical skills required by those looking to enter the industry. 

Read here:

Articles of Interest
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Contact Us

2197 Riverside Drive  4th Floor, Suite 405 
Ottawa, ON  K1H 7X3
Phone: (613) 235-5540
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Upcoming Industry Events
Atlantic Canada Energy Summit 2015
October 21-22 , 2015
Saint John, New Brunswick

QUEST 2015 - Getting Smart About Energy in Our Communities
October 26-28, 2015
Toronto, Ontario
Canadian Power Conference - Association of Power Producers of Ontario
November 17 & 18, 2015
Toronto, Ontario

Solar Canada 2015
December 7-8, 2015
Toronto, Ontario

EHRC AGM and Board Meeting
December 9, 2015
Toronto, Ontario

EHRC Awards of Excellence Luncheon
December 9, 2015
Toronto, Ontario