Challenging year ahead

The industry faces a number of challenges for 2017. It doesn’t help that the economy and housing construction are largely flat. And the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president with his America-first policy doesn’t bode well for creating jobs in this country – and job growth was largely non-existent in 2016.

There are new carbon taxes and cap and trade programs – the federal government expects all provinces to have such programs in place by 2018 – that will raise the cost of virtually everything with questionable benefit.

The industry itself faces continuing challenges with energy efficiency regulations that often set unrealistic targets and seem to be in a constant state of change, dramatically increasing the cost and in some cases hampering reliability and longevity of products.

And then there are continuing problems like an aging workforce. And it’s not just workers; look around any room of company owners and one will see a lot of grey hair and few younger people taking over existing companies or starting their own.

Prompt payment continues to be a challenge in new construction with just about every level of government paying lip service but doing little to actually put regulations in place to ensure contractors get paid in a timely manner.

But this industry always survives through thick and thin. It’s an essential service and, for me, it’s a very different industry from most because it’s full of people who actually build stuff and are engaged in what they do.

The coming year probably won’t be particularly easy and the industry won’t likely be as busy as it could be, but a long cold winter in much of the country hopefully followed by a hot summer should provide a boost. There’s a lot of uncertainty right now and many of us are worried, but things sometimes turn out better than expected. Let’s hope that’s the case in 2017.

Joint standard a major step towards Canada-U.S. code harmonization
The first-ever joint Canada-U.S. standard for plumbing is a major step towards harmonizing codes between Canada and the U.S., reports the Standards Council of Canada (SCC). After several years of collaboration, ULC Standards, Underwriters Laboratories and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) have developed a new standard for balloon type ball backwater valves...Full Story
Ont. Geothermal Association annual conference announced
The Ontario Geothermal Association will hold its annual conference in Mississauga, Ont. Feb. 21-22...Full Story
Stanley Black & Decker buys Craftsman
Struggling retailer Sears has sold its iconic Craftsman tool brand to Stanley Black & Decker for approximately $900 million U.S...Full Story
Flexible versus metal duct sizer
A new duct sizing calculator from ASHRAE and the Air Distribution Institute (ADI) is designed to allow HVAC air distribution system designers to more accurately size ducts, especially flex ducts under varying amounts of compression...Full Story
Plumbing manufacturers group seeks new director
The Plumbing Manufacturers Institute, Rolling Meadows, Illinois, has announced that long-serving CEO and executive director Barbara Higgins will step down and that the search is on for a
replacement...Full Story
Innovative pellet stoves
Wolf Steel, Barrie, Ont., is offering modern Italian Vicenza pellet stoves across Canada...more

Quick drain snake repair
The Quick-Fix from General Pipe Cleaners offers quick repair of broken drain cleaning cables in the field. ..more

Protect your tools
The One-Key digital system for tools and equipment from Milwaukee Tool integrates modern tool electronics with a custom-built cloud-based program for tool control, inventory management and reporting...more
  ASHRAE Winter Conference
JAN. 28 - FEB. 1, 2017

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.
Call 1-404-636-8400 or visit

AHR Expo
JAN. 30 - FEB. 1, 2017

Las Vegas Convention Centre, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Please visit
or call 1-203-221-9232.

Ontario Geothermal Association Annual Conference
FEB. 21 - 22rd, 2017

Hilton Mississauga/Meadowvale Hotel, Mississauga, Ont.
Please visit www.ontariogeothermal.cafor more information
or Contact Kendy Sandy at

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