Dear OHBA Members,
Premier Doug Ford made it clear, the construction industry has been put on notice regarding health and safety standards on jobsites during the COVID-19 State of Emergency with residential construction being included as an essential workplace under that order.
The Premier stated that Ministry of Labour inspectors will be active on jobsites to assess sanitary conditions and to confirm that enhanced precautions are being taken. Premier noted that while the majority of businesses, general contractors, renovators and builders are taking extra precautions, there remain a few bad actors in the sector.
In Ontario, workers have always had the right to refuse work if the deem conditions unsafe.
Premier Ford has been absolutely crystal clear: if the industry does not take every step necessary to look after the health and safety of workers, jobsites will be shut down.
If businesses are not meeting the health and safety standards of the Ministry of Labour, jobsites will be shut down.
It is NOT business as usual - take enhanced health and safety seriously and implement new measures or be shut down.
OHBA leadership agrees with the Premier. If jobsites are not safe, they should be shut down. Worker safety is the top priority during this COVID-19 State of Emergency.
There have been public calls to "suspend" or "pause" construction sites for up to 2 weeks by various groups and now the Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party.
It is important that members immediately enhance health and safety on their sites and implement COVID-19 protocols if they want to keep their sites open. We know many of our homebuilders and renovators are on the tools, working with their employers and trade partners, so let's keep each other safe.
As the Ministry of Labour and Chief Prevention Officer work to provide more direction, we encourage you to consult our industry guide on enhanced health and safety precautions and implement them as soon as possible.
This document has been approved for circulation by the respective Co-chairs of the Provincial Labour Management Health and Safety Committee - Section 21 Construction and the Provincial Labour Management Safety Committee - Section 21 Electrical Utility.
Let's keep each other safe. We are all in this together. #OntarioSpirit
March 25, 2020 - Ottawa, Ontario - Department of Finance Canada
The Government of Canada is taking strong, immediate and effective action to protect Canadians and the economy from the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic. No Canadian should have to choose between protecting their health, putting food on the table, paying for their medication or caring for a family member.
To support workers and help businesses keep their employees, the government has proposed legislation to establish the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). This taxable benefit would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CERB would be a simpler and more accessible combination of the previously announced Emergency Care Benefit and Emergency Support Benefit.
The CERB would cover Canadians who have lost their job, are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19, as well as working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children who are sick or at home because of school and daycare closures. The CERB would apply to wage earners, as well as contract workers and self-employed individuals who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance (EI).
Additionally, workers who are still employed, but are not receiving income because of disruptions to their work situation due to COVID-19, would also qualify for the CERB. This would help businesses keep their employees as they navigate these difficult times, while ensuring they preserve the ability to quickly resume operations as soon as it becomes possible.
The EI system was not designed to process the unprecedented high volume of applications received in the past week. Given this situation, all Canadians who have ceased working due to COVID-19, whether they are EI-eligible or not, would be able to receive the CERB to ensure they have timely access to the income support they need.
Canadians who are already receiving EI regular and sickness benefits as of today would continue to receive their benefits and should not apply to the CERB. If their EI benefits end before October 3, 2020, they could apply for the CERB once their EI benefits cease, if they are unable to return to work due to COVID-19. Canadians who have already applied for EI and whose application has not yet been processed would not need to reapply. Canadians who are eligible for EI regular and sickness benefits would still be able to access their normal EI benefits, if still unemployed, after the 16-week period covered by the CERB.
The government is working to get money into the pockets of Canadians as quickly as possible. The portal for accessing the CERB would be available in early April. EI eligible Canadians who have lost their job can continue to apply for EI here, as can Canadians applying for other EI benefits.
Canadians would begin to receive their CERB payments within 10 days of application. The CERB would be paid every four weeks and be available from March 15, 2020 until October 3, 2020.
This benefit would be one part of the government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, to support Canadian workers and businesses and help stabilize the economy by helping Canadians pay for essentials like housing and groceries, and helping businesses pay their employees and bills during this unprecedented time of global uncertainty.
“We know that people are worried about their health, their jobs and their financial situations. Our government is doing whatever it takes to protect the health and safety of Canadians, and to support workers, families and businesses. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit would make sure that money gets in the hands of workers as quickly as possible to support them in their time of need, and would help businesses keep their employees during this difficult period. Canadians can rest assured that the government stands ready to take any and all necessary actions as we continue to confront these challenging times together.” - Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance
“Through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, the Government of Canada would be helping support those Canadians who are unable to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is during these difficult times that Canadians should not have to choose between protecting their health and continuing to support their families. We recognize this, and are there for them.”
- Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
“The government understands that the outbreak of COVID-19 is having a significant impact on all Canadians. Through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, we would provide much-needed financial support to those who have lost their income because of COVID-19. The Canada Revenue Agency is playing an important role by getting benefit payments to Canadians quickly and efficiently.” - Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue
The province has launched a toll-free line 1-888-444-3659 to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province's recent emergency order to close at-risk workplaces following recommendations by Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health.
On Monday, the province issued an emergency order to close at-risk workplaces and encourage non-essential businesses to find ways to help their employees work from home. The government also reminded businesses to put in place protocols for physical distancing and regular hand-washing in order to protect the health and safety of employees and the general public.
Businesses who have questions about closures of at-risk workplaces or how emergency measures impact their business or employment can call the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.
Help is available from Monday to Sunday, from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
A complete list of essential services is available on the Government of Ontario's website.
Today, during Premier Doug Ford's announcement, he mentioned that the Ministry of Labour and the Chief Prevention Officer would be releasing new health and safety measures soon.
DRHBA will forward that information to members as soon as it becomes available. In the meantime, please review the industry statement released on March 20, that outlines some best practices for construction sites.
View/download the document
Pickering, ON, March 24, 2020 – In support of the Province of Ontario’s and Region of Durham’s efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Deputy Mayor, Kevin Ashe has declared a state of emergency in the City of Pickering to ensure that the municipal government continues to be agile and responsive in managing this rapidly evolving crisis.
Over the past 10 days, the City has closed all of its facilities to the public; suspended all City-run programs, events, and meetings; activated its Emergency Operations Centre; waived property tax penalties and interest charges for 60 days; and closed all municipal playgrounds and play structures. While not open to the public, Pickering City Hall and the Operations Centre remain minimally staffed to ensure the continued delivery of essential and critical services. The Customer Care Centre is still operating Monday to Friday between 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, and can be reached at 905.683.7575, email@example.com, or through live chat at pickering.ca/livechat.
For the most up-to date COVID-19 information including news releases, property taxes, service level delivery, and safety tips, visit pickering.ca/covid19 or follow the City’s corporate social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
“We have declared a state of emergency to send the strongest message possible to residents and businesses that everyone must align their attitudes and actions if we are to be successful in flattening the curve and protecting our healthcare system. Members of Council and staff have been working around the clock to manage this emergency, and we need everyone to do their part by staying at home.”
- Deputy Mayor, Kevin Ashe
On March 24, the Region of Durham declared a state of emergency to help deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Regional Chair John Henry released the following statement:
“Today, based on information collected over the last few days and in consultation with the Chief Administrative Officer, Regional Emergency Control Group, Regional Medical Officer of Health and Durham Emergency Management, I am declaring a State of Emergency in the Region of Durham.
This is a critical time in our efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Cases are climbing across Durham Region. We must all do everything we can to keep our community safe and flatten the curve.
In making today’s declaration, this is a message to our entire community: stay home, stay safe and follow the advice of our public health professionals.
I am also ensuring that we, as your Regional Government, can continue to act and respond quickly to the situation we face today, and to any other events that arise in the weeks ahead.
This is not a step we took lightly. It reflects the seriousness of our response to COVID-19 and the tremendous co-ordination and communication that is required from all levels of government.
While I thank our many residents and businesses who are taking every precaution to protect themselves and others, there is still some complacency in our community. I am urging you to do your part: to self-isolate, practise social distancing, and only go outside for essentials. If you are returning from travel, self-isolate in your home for 14 days and ask family, friends or neighbours to drop off supplies for you.
We are all in this together. The Region of Durham is here for you. The health and well-being of our residents is our top priority. We are and will continue to work out of the Emergency Operations Centre to maintain the essential social services, public works and health-care services you rely on.
This is an incredibly tough time in our history, and there will be more difficult days ahead. But we must not lose sight of why we are doing this and why such extreme measures are needed. Only by working together over the coming days and weeks can we change the course of this virus and protect the health and safety of everyone in Durham. I know we can do this. Please help us by doing your part.”
Toronto - The Ontario Construction Consortium (OCC) is calling on the provincial government to suspend work on construction sites across Ontario for 14 days to protect the safety of workers and employers amid the COVID-19 crisis.
OCC executive director Phil Gillies reacted to Premier Doug Ford's directive yesterday calling for non-essential business and services to shut down, saying the message to the construction industry was confusing and contradictory.
"It makes no sense that you can't have your neighbour over for a cup of coffee yet construction sites are expected to continue operations and they can have hundreds of employees working in close proximity to each other," said Gillies. "This is contrary to the best advice of public health officials to maintain social distancing."
The provincial government yesterday ordered all non-essential businesses to close but published a list of 74 businesses deemed essential, including several construction related business activities including:
26. Construction projects and services associated with the healthcare sector, including new facilities, expansions, renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space;
27. Construction projects and services required to ensure safe and reliable operations of critical provincial infrastructure, including transit, transportation, energy and justice sectors beyond the day-to-day maintenance;
28. Construction and work services, including demolition services, in the industrial, commercial, institutional and residential sectors;
29. Construction work and services that supports health and safety environmental rehabilitation projects.
Gilles said the OCC supports positions taken by both the Carpenters' and Painters' unions in calling on the government to shut down construction temporarily.
"As Premier Ford announced [Monday], the construction workers on this Province should not be expected to work on jobsites where the basic safety requirements for COVID-19 are not being met," said Tony Iannuzzi, executive secretary treasurer of the Carpenters' Union. "Those minimum standards simply do not exist on most of our jobsite."
Bruno Mandic, business manager and secretary treasurer of the Painters and Allied Trades District Council 46, echoed those sentiments, saying "it's impossible to do our jobs [and maintain social distancing]. If you're on the 20th or 50th floor of a building working, the only way to get there is by elevator and there's no social distancing.
He also cited unsanitary conditions on construction job sites including a lack of running water.
Enbridge has released documents outlining their service updates during COVID-19.
View or download new build update
View or download Q & A for Builders
View or download Enbridge Team Contact Info
The Ontario Home Builders' Association has created a letter template that serves as a guide which outlines high-level principles and recommendations. Members are encouraged to personalize with local context and share with both OHBA and the Ministry (firstname.lastname@example.org) outlining potential financial impacts of the proposed CBC model in jurisdictions right across Ontario.
Download the form letter
OHBA has put together a template that members can use to input information regarding their projects. You can use the template to see the effect that the Community Benefit Charge will have your business. If you do complete the template and are willing to share, please email the completed form to email@example.com. To submit, the following information needs to be filled out:
View or download a sample completed form
View or download the template
View or download Development Charges in Durham Region
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Durham Region Home Builders' Association is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 1-1255 Terwillegar Avenue Oshawa, Ontario L1J 7A4