Trade Regulations Dominate HRAC Discussion

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Canada — At its annual general meeting, The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors of Canada (HRAC) announced that five new topics were generated and four resolutions were passed. One was withdrawn after extensive discussion.

The first resolution came from the National Capital HRAC Association, recommending that wholesalers should not sell refrigeration and air conditioning equipment or supplies without purchasers (contractors) showing proper trade licenses, as required by provincial regulators. It was agreed that this topic should be taken to the Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) National Assembly and that the request should be to enter into a dialogue with HRAI manufacturers and wholesalers about how they might support such a policy.

The second resolution, also submitted by the HRAC National Capital Region, recommended that provincial fuel safety regulators should be approached about making it mandatory for HVACR contractors to carry a minimum of $2 million in liability insurance. Although some maintained that it might not be possible to achieve this goal, considering the legal mandate of fuel regulators, it was agreed that it should be passed on to the HRAC Board. The HRAC Board subsequently agreed to follow up on this request.

The third resolution, submitted by the HRAC Brant Haldimand Norfolk Chapter, asked HRAC to negotiate with the Ontario Ministry of Environment to discontinue the ODP Card system, or to A) eliminate the requirement for refrigeration mechanics to have or renew such cards and B) restrict the issuance of all other cards to persons legitimately involved in the manufacture, transportation, sale or recycling of refrigerant.

There was extensive discussion of this resolution. It was recognized by the representatives assembled that the request was based on a legitimate concern (the need to enforce trade regulations) but also that the regulation in question, requiring environmental awareness training, was not the right vehicle for achieving this goal.

It was also recognized that the window of opportunity for submitting comments and positions on the regulation had come and gone. Many in the industry had submitted comments already, and the ministry met with the HRAC-Ontario Regional Council, which at the time could not generate a consensus position on the topic. The chapter agreed to withdraw the resolution.

The fourth resolution, submitted by HRAC Toronto Chapter, requested that certain member information compiled by HRAC-Canada (e.g., contact names, and preferences for e-mail, fax, or mail) be shared with chapters for communication purposes. This resolution was passed and the HRAC Board agreed to act on this request.

The fifth resolution, submitted by the HRAC Toronto Chapter, requested that HRAC invest more money in the promotion of the Marketplace Distinction Program. This resolution was passed and the HRAC Board agreed to establish a Marketing Task Team whose mandate will be to identify and recommend additional cost-effective methods for promoting HRAC members in the marketplace.

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Publication date: 10/28/2002

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