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James Barry has been an active and passionate advocate for the IBEW for more than 25 years. He understands today’s issues affecting not only the electrical trade but the construction industry as a whole, and the hurdles and challenges we face today and tomorrow.

James Barry attended Algonquin College in Ottawa and studied Business Management. After graduation he pursued a career as an electrician and registered as an apprentice with the IBEW Local 586, eventually attaining his Red Seal 309A license.

After many years working on the tools, James became an active member at the local union. Between the years of 1996 to 2015, he rose through the ranks of IBEW Local 586 in Ottawa and served five uncontested terms as Business Manager.

From 2012 to 2015, James Barry was elected President of the IBEW Construction Council of Ontario, before taking on the role of Executive Chairman at the CCO in August of 2015. After serving over four years as the Executive Chairman, in November of 2019 Barry was acclaimed in an election for the position of Executive Secretary-Treasurer.

Over his career representing workers in the construction industry, James has been an active member on many government committees. These include the Provincial Advisory Committee (PAC) for the electrical industry and the Ontario-Québec Bilateral Construction Labour Mobility Committee for over a decade.

James Barry is a tireless advocate for safety and training standards in the skilled trades. He was one of the first appointees to the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) Board of Governors, which represents over 269,000 workers. In addition to serving on the board of governors, James was the chairperson of its Construction Divisional Board, representing over 121,500 construction workers from across the province of Ontario. He spent over 20 years on the Local Apprenticeship Committees (LAC) where he was directly responsible for the start and completion of well over 1,000 electrical apprentices.

He is the proud father of four children, Sarah, Thomas, Clare and Patrick. His eldest son, Thomas, has followed in his father’s footsteps and is currently a fourth-year registered apprentice electrician.