The Sixth Lawsuit and CSA’s 180 Errors

August 6th, 2018

My dear friends, here we go again.  Do you recall CSA’s sixth lawsuit?  This was their latest litigation against PS Knight Co (that’s us), filed right after the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) Hearing in March, the Hearing whose Ruling should finally settle CSA’s curious claims to own the law privately.  In this, CSA was effectively asking the Court to Rule on a new lawsuit while deliberations on their previous lawsuit were already underway. 

As we reported, the CSA’s sixth lawsuit never had the full Hearing, for reasons of equal parts annoyance and amusement.  Instead, the sixth lawsuit was adjourned, and was to remain adjourned until the FCA issued it’s Ruling later this year.

But then, in tediously typical CSA conduct, on July 31 their counsel wrote a letter to Court “request[ing] that the Court bring CSA’s motion back on for hearing, given the urgency and seriousness of the situation.”

What urgency and seriousness?  Well, they said; “As set out in CSA’s Notice of Motion and supporting motion materials, [PS Knight’s books] pose urgent and serious public safety concerns.”  Lest there be any doubt, they repeat it for clarity, that a new Hearing is now vital “to address the urgent and serious public safety concerns associated with the Respondents’ [sic] publication.”

While CSA didn’t identify for the Court any of the frightful dangers featured within our books, in this instance we know what they’re referring to.

You see, the CSA’s fallback strategy is to rubbish our reputation with as many customer groups as possible.  It’s unethical, but it works.  The CSA recently used its government connections to arrange a blacklisting of PS Knight books within British Columbia’s civil service, for instance.  We know CSA’s also lobbying the unions.  And the contractor community.  And on it goes.

In early July, the CSA sent us a list of errata in our Code book.  That is, they compared their book against ours and listed the differences found therein.  The CSA claimed to have found 180 errors in our publication.

That we missed so many errors would be astounding.  I mean, every book has errors in it, but 180 of them, in a single book, would be incredible.  So we reviewed their list, and carefully.  It took quite a kettle of time, comparing the one edition to the other, one error after another, until we’d sorted each of CSA’s 180 alleged errors in our book. 

Here’s what we found:

Eight of the 180 are actual publishing errors of ours.  We posted these on our public errata list (you can see it here).  None of these are a public danger, they’re glitches in the publishing of any large technical book.

Another eight of CSA’s 180 are formatting differences, like a bolded heading vs a standard text heading.  For those unfamiliar, our version of electrical law is formatted differently.  We use two column text for instance, whereas CSA uses a single column.  These aren’t errors, they’re deliberate.  It’s silly, formatting is not a textual issue, it doesn’t constitute errata and it isn’t a public danger.

Ten of the 180 were duplicates of other CSA claimed errors.  That is, they inserted them multiple times in the same list.

Oddly, a couple of CSA’s 180 complaints referenced “Page 0” in our book.  There is no Page 0 in our book. 

Then we get to some interesting ones:

Twenty-five of the 180 claimed errors are in the J and JB Annexes of the Code.  In the Code, each Rule is assigned a unique alpha-numeric designator (a Rule number) to identify and differentiate each Rule from each other Rule (like J18-000, J18-002, J18-004 -that sort of thing).  The J Annex regulations conform to the J18-000 format and the JB Annex regulations to the JB18-000 format.  This way, when someone refers to Rule J18-000, everyone knows what they’re talking about. 

In the 2018 Code however, the CSA boobed it.  That is, they accidentally reused the J Annex designators (J18-000, J18-002, etc.) in the JB Annex.  Where there once was a J18-000 and a JB18-000 in the different Annexes, there are now two J18-000s, one each in both Annexes.  Now, when someone refers to the J18-000 Regulation, they could be referring to either of two very different Rules.

We noticed this.  We also noticed that CSA hadn’t designated the Rule number changes as material changes.  That is, they hadn’t placed a Delta (a pyramid symbol) beside the Rule changes.  As stipulated within electrical law, all material changes must be identified with a Delta.  No Delta; no material change, it’s that simple.

So, without the Delta, and since the text of the Annexes was largely unchanged from 2015, we chose to retain the 2015 Rule designators in the JB Annex.

The CSA is angry that we didn’t duplicate their publishing errors.  Apparently, catching errors and correcting them before publication is, itself, an error.

Now the big one:

The CSA is claiming that there are 114 instances of missing Delta’s in their version of the Code.  That is, they say that we missed a lot of changes -114 of them- and that these changes are material and matters of public safety.  The CSA version of the Code doesn’t identify any of these as material or matters of public safety however, in fact they don’t identify them as changed in any way whatsoever, so its hard to take this claim seriously.

Here’s a sampling of the dangers to public safety:

On P.168, the CSA complains that “Subrule (8)” is listed as “Subrule 8).”  Hint: It’s the bracket.

On P.180, the CSA complains that the word “Sub-rule” is listed as “Subrule.” 

On P.213, they complain of a grammatical correction; “it has” was changed to “they have.”

On P.213, they complain that the word “wastewater” was changed to “waste water.”

On P.244, CSA complains that “the heating unit” was changed to “a heating unit.”

On P.292, the 2015 text reads “shall be optional” instead of “is optional.”

On P.293, the 2015 text reads “shall be done as follows” instead of “as follows.”

None of these are material changes, none are public safety issues, and CSA chose to incorporate all of these as immaterial in their own version of the same book.  So why are they immaterial when CSA publishes them, yet in ours these same points are “urgent and serious public safety concerns”?

Another good question;  If all of these apparently urgent and serious public safety errors are found in CSA’s version, then why hasn’t CSA listed them in their own errata? 

Actually, did you know that CSA doesn’t list any errata in the Code at all?  It’s true.  You can tour their website as long as you like, you’ll not find any such listing anywhere.

The irony is that CSA’s version of electrical law is rife with error.  So rife, in fact, that we discretely flagged CSA’s more flagrant errors in our book.  In Section 26, for example, we included a warning that identifiers for changes to Rule numbers are missing twenty-three times within that one Section, and then we identified which Rule numbers had been changed.  And so on.

Look, we could’ve made a big show of CSA’s errors in Court, a much bigger show than CSA’s now putting on, but we’ve chosen not to.  Bigger fish, you know?  Plus, crying about small issues, treating them as enormous, all urgent and serious, especially when those enormities were actually dealt by the cryer, not PS Knight, you know, looks silly.

Here’s where we land;  The CSA found eight errors in Knight’s Code.  That’s a pretty low number, we’re ok with that.  We’ve already corrected these for reprint this summer and we’ve already posted the errata publicly.  Ninety-six percent of CSA’s complaints are comprised of CSA’s own publishing errors, most notably in missing Delta identifiers and duplicate use of rule numbers.  

But in the trade, CSA is talking up their list of 180 complaints as evidence that Knight’s Code is a public danger. 

So how is the Court responding to CSA’s latest wailing of “the urgency of the situation”?  You know, for public safety?  Well, CSA asked the Court to schedule this latest Hearing on an emergency basis, even demanding that evidence filings be delivered within 72 hours of their letter and that the Hearing itself be scheduled for next week.

Even Crampton’s Court seems tired of CSA’s tactics.  The Court kindly scheduled the emergency, seriously urgent, urgent Hearing not for a week away, but for September 24th.

Hopefully the FCA Ruling will be in before then, and hopefully it’s a blunt and fulsome Ruling, letting us put so much of this sordid mess, and CSA’s sixth lawsuit along with it, to rest.

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Update - It has been brought to our attention that CSA has posted a “Safety Alert” about our Code book.  The official CSA statement is that “we have concerns that these [180] differences raise urgent safety issues to electrical professionals, the public at large and property owners if this document is used [and] we believe it’s important that the public is aware of these concerns and the safety risks associated with using a lesser-quality imitation of this safety critical document.”  It’s fatiguing, this.  Truth, it seems, means nothing at CSA.