DURHAM REGION HOMEBUILDERS' ASSOCIATION
Staff at the Region of Durham have put forward a proposal to waive the indexing for two separate development charge bylaws (the Region-wide DC by-law #28-2018 and Transit DC by-law #81-2017).
A statutory public meeting was held on May 27, 2020 ahead of the Regional Council meeting, and feedback can still be submitted to the Clerk at email@example.com until June 1, 2020.
Council will vote on this proposal at the June 24, 2020 Regional Council meeting.
Members who have questions or concerns are encouraged to contact Stacey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Town of Whitby has been working on their "Whitby Green Standards" and opened up public consultation until June 1.
DRHBA and its members have significant concerns with this program, including that the Town is attempting to mandate building above and beyond the Ontario Building Code. This is a concern to builders and developers across Durham Region, as if this program gains traction in Whitby, other municipalities may follow suit.
In the proposal, the Town of Whitby has created four tiers, each of which has criteria that needs to be met. Initially, the plan is to make tier one mandatory, and mandate the remaining tiers in the future. The tiers are separated into two checklists, for subdivisions and site plan approvals.
DRHBA submitted a letter to the Whitby Green Standards committee and a letter to the Mayor and council on May 11, 2020 outlining our concerns with the mandatory criteria.
As of May 29, 2020, DRHBA has not received a response to that letter.
On May 29, 2020, DRHBA submitted a second letter to council and the committee, along with a legal opinion from Leo Longo of Aird & Berlis.
As of the April 29, 2020 stakeholder meeting, Town staff are planning to bring this proposal to council in June for approval.
Members who have questions, concerns or comments about the proposed Whitby Green Standards are encouraged to contact Stacey at email@example.com.
On Monday, May 25th, Clarington council considered a bylaw put forward by the planning department designed to replace bylaw 84-63. The new bylaw was created in response to the Bowmanville Character Study, which looked at ways to maintain the existing character of a specific section of Bowmanville.
Members had concerns about the restrictions contained in the proposed bylaw, and DRHBA submitted a letter to the planning and development committee for consideration.
In addition, past-president Emidio DiPalo gave a delegation to council at the May 25th meeting. As a result, Clarington council voted to send the report back to staff with instructions to work with DRHBA and area residents to come up with criteria that are not as restrictive while also maintaining the character of the neighbourhood.
Members with concerns about this issue are encouraged to contact Stacey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City of Oshawa undertook a public consultation to obtain input on whether the City should pass by-laws under the Municipal Act, 2001 to control nuisance dust and dirt on roads and properties in Oshawa due to construction and development projects.
DRHBA's government relations committee reviewed the associated documents and prepared a letter to be submitted as feedback.
You can view DRHBA's letter here.
From Templeman LLP:
Workplace Reopening Q&A
I am ready to recall my employees from layoff – how do I do that?
The process to recall employees from a layoff may be dictated by whether you are a unionized workplace or not. If unionized, the collective agreement will typically include an article that will set out how layoffs and recalls will function, including how notice is to be given and the order in which employees return, which is usually based on seniority.
If you are not a unionized workplace, the proper process to follow may depend on your specific circumstances and the process through which layoffs were first administered. In general, recalls should be done in writing and a specific date for the recall should be set. It is advisable to make sure that employees have reasonable prior notice of the recall date. Employers may be expected to return an employee to the position he or she last held prior to the layoff, and any changes necessitated by changed circumstances should be communicated.
Under what circumstances can an employee refuse to return to work, and how do I respond?
There are several circumstances in which an employee may validly refuse to return to work. If the employee has specific concerns related to the health and safety of the workplace, and he or she is not part of a special class of excluded employees, the employee may engage in a work refusal under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) when the employee has reason to believe that he or she, or in some cases another worker, is likely to be endangered by:
In the case of COVID-19, complaints would likely be grounded in the second point, the “condition of the workplace”.
If an employee refuses to return to or perform work citing unsafe working conditions, employers will be expected to follow the OHSA work refusal process, which includes investigating the refusal and advising the Ministry of Labour if the investigation and any remedial steps taken do not resolve the issue.
Employees may also decline to return to work if they meet the criteria for a leave of absence under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA). It is important to remember that the special emergency leave related to COVID-19 remains in effect for employees impacted by COVID-19 in a variety of ways, including if they cannot return to work due to childcare obligations.
Employees may also be justified in refusing to return if they have special circumstances such that insisting on their return to work could amount to a human rights violation. While employers should adopt a return to work policy or procedure and strive to apply it evenly and fairly across their workforce, individual refusals to report to work must be evaluated on a case by case basis.
Will my employees remain eligible for the CERB if they resume work?
An employee does not need to remain on layoff to access the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), provided they meet the established eligibility criteria. However, an employee may be ineligible if he or she earns more than $1,000 in a CERB eligibility period. If an employee is recalled during the first four-week period he or she applies for the CERB, the employee would be required to pay back the $2,000 benefit if he or she earns more than $1,000 for 14 or more consecutive days within the four-week benefit period claimed. If the employee is recalled during a subsequent period, he or she cannot have earned more than $1,000 for the entire four-week benefit period. The $1,000 income threshold includes employment and self-employment income, and encompasses tips, non-eligible dividends, honoraria, and royalties earned during the benefit period.
If employees are approaching you with questions about how a recall will impact CERB entitlement, it is generally best for you, as their employer, to decline from giving advice that may have financial and tax consequences for the employee. Employees should obtain that guidance from the CRA or their own financial or legal advisors.
For more on the CERB eligibility and income requirements, see:
If I am not in a position to recall my employees, how long can I keep employees on layoff?
Assuming that layoffs were validly implemented to begin with, further to a preexisting agreement between the parties or with the consent of the employee, a temporary layoff under the ESA is capped at 13 weeks in any consecutive 20-week period. Note that this does not require the layoff to last for 13 consecutive weeks. This may have implications if you are planning on recalling employees for a short period and then returning them to layoff.
Where certain criteria set out in the ESA are satisfied, such as continuing employee benefits, that period can be up to 35 weeks in a 52-week period.
After the period of a temporary layoff has ended, the employee is deemed to have been terminated under the ESA which may trigger termination pay obligations for you.
Layoffs that were not validly implemented pursuant to an employment contract or collective agreement may also lead to additional liabilities such as constructive dismissal claims.
Interestingly, British Columbia has recently passed legislation to extend the 13-week threshold to 16 weeks for layoffs relating to COVID-19, if the employee agrees. Ontario has not yet indicated whether it will take similar steps.
I’ve heard that the Ministry of Labour is stepping up inspections. How do I ensure that I am compliant with current workplace health and safety requirements?
At a minimum, employers should continue to follow public health advice and ensure that any reopening or relaxing of restrictions are consistent with the Government’s current emergency orders under the Emergency Management and Civil Protections Act. The Government has also now published over 90 sector-specific health and safety guidelines and workplace information posters. Employers should review and implement these guidelines as applicable, and would also be well served to display the posters and other health and safety association publications where appropriate.
The guidelines and other association resources can be accessed through:
As the economic reopening stages progress, employers should continue to regularly consult Ontario’s centralized information site, https://covid-19.ontario.ca/, for updates and may wish to consult with industry or trade associations and with legal counsel for further direction.
While the public health risks persist, employers should position themselves to raise due diligence defences by tracking and complying with public health guidance.
Are there certain policies or procedures that should be in place before I begin bringing people back into the workplace?
The answer to this question is going to be very contextual and specific to your workplace.
As a starting point, employers should consider updating existing workplace health and safety policies to include policies and procedures specific to infectious disease.
It is also advisable to consider whether policies relating to sick time, reporting sickness, and/or the requirement for medical notes need to be revised. As indicated in previous Handouts from the Templeman Labour & Employment group, employers have to balance their obligation to safeguard the health and safety of their workforce with the general duty to safeguard the confidential medical information of employees. If you do not have a procedure that directs employees on the confidential reporting of health concerns, and/or a sickness or accommodation policy that deals with how you approach time off work when an employee is ill, adopting such policies could assist management in dealing with any issues that arise.
Employers may also see an increase in workplace harassment and discrimination complaints, as employees take issue with management requiring them to return to work or prompting them to do work that they don’t want to do. Under the OHSA, employers are required to have a policy on workplace harassment. Employers should ensure such policies are in place, and confirm that they include a procedure for dealing with complaints.
In a unionized workplace, an employer may have an obligation to consult with the union and/or a joint health and safety committee before introducing or amending policies. In the non-union context, employers should ensure that any updates and changes are clearly communicated to and acknowledged by employees.
Will I be liable if I recall an employee and he or she contracts COVID-19 in the workplace?
If you are an employer who is required to or who has opted into providing WSIB coverage, the WSIB has confirmed that it considers COVID-19 a compensable occupational disease, where applicable criteria are satisfied. What this means is that, in general, an employee will have a right to claim WSIB in relation to his or her illness, in lieu of a claim or right of action against his or her employer.
The WSIB has released a document clarifying how COVID-19 specific claims will be approached. Each claim will be determined on a case by case basis, and decision-makers will consider whether:
1. the nature of the worker’s employment created a risk of contracting the disease to which the public at large is not normally exposed; and
2. the WSIB is satisfied that the worker’s COVID-19 condition has been confirmed.
If these considerations are satisfied, the WSIB has indicated that they will constitute persuasive evidence that the worker’s employment made a significant contribution to the worker’s illness.
For more on WSIB claims, see:
We continue to encourage employers to actively monitor their workplaces and to follow pubic health and governmental directions to the greatest extend possible to minimize the risk of a health and safety liabilities. What this looks like will be different for every workplace, but before reopening employers should think through the details of physical distancing, sanitation measures, and whether any PPE is required for employees, so that those considerations have been addressed and the proper equipment is in place before people return.
For up to date information, the following resources may be of use:
Government of Canada
Government of Ontario
Ontario Hospital Association
This summary does not constitute legal advice. Please feel free to contact your Templeman LLP lawyer with respect to specific plans for your workplace.
From the Ministry of Transportation:
Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 outlined the first steps in our government's immediate response to the current crisis. It includes health care resources and provides immediate relief with support for people and jobs.
While the number one priority remains the health and well being of all people, we also need to be prepared once the state of emergency is lifted to responsibly reopen the economy.
For the next phase of Ontario's Action Plan, we need to develop a recovery plan with the same thoughtfulness as our crisis response so that we are doing everything we can to stimulate economic growth and job creation, while continuing to protect people.
Please find below a link to a survey. The purpose of the survey is to understand the impacts of COVID-19 to your organization to date, recovery measures, planning, and transportation opportunities. Recovery planning is moving quickly and we would like to gather this information as soon as possible. Your participation in the survey and response by Tuesday, May 26 would be greatly appreciated.
If you have any questions, please email the project team at ProvincialPlanningOffice@ontario.ca.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced on May 15, 2020 that the Government of Canada will extend the CEWS by an additional 12 weeks to August 29, 2020. Extending the program will give workers greater confidence that they will continue to get the support they need during these difficult times. The Government will consult with key business and labour representatives over the next month on potential adjustments to the program to incent jobs and growth, including the 30 per cent revenue decline threshold. Any potential changes following the consultation will have as key objectives to maximize employment, ensure the CEWS reflects the immediate needs of businesses, and support the post-crisis economic recovery.
The Government has made regulatory changes to prescribe certain types of organizations in order to extend eligibility for the CEWS to additional groups. The prescribed organizations described below may now begin applying for the CEWS, provided they meet all other eligibility criteria.
View full press release
The Durham Region Home Builders' Association (DRHBA) and the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) applaud the Government of Ontario’s decision permit all construction activities under the COVID-19 Emergency Orders. The reactivation of construction activities will allow the industry to meet the housing, commercial building and renovation needs of Durham Region and Ontario.
“We are still focused on the safety of jobsites, workers and clients. Getting our industry safety back to work means we can get back to providing the housing supply and choice our community needs, from renovations to new home builds to adding new commercial workspace in Durham Region,” said Johnathan Schickedanz, president of DRHBA.
Today’s decision allows for the full resumption of residential and non-residential construction and planned renovations on Tuesday May 19, 2020 including the restrictions on new home renovations.
As always, the industry will ensure that work is carried out in compliance with the Ministry of Labour’s Guidelines for Construction Site Health and Safety during COVID-19. DRHBA and OHBA continues to support the critical role enforcement role of the Ministry of Labour inspectors. The industry continues to support closing any jobsite that does not meet or exceed these requirements
“We all want safe jobsites. The health and safety of colleagues, employees, tradespeople and clients continues to be the industry’s number one priority as the industry continues to make enhancements to the COVID-19 health and safety protocols,” said Joe Vaccaro, CEO, OHBA. “The provincial government continues to take a measured approach in response to this crisis. The reactivation of construction and renovations for both residential and non-residential means the industry can work through the short Canadian construction season and deliver the keys to businesses waiting for their new work spaces and thousands of families waiting for the keys to their new or renovated homes.“
News Release: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/05/ontario-announces-additional-workplaces-that-can-reopen.html
Full document: https://files.ontario.ca/mof-framework-reopening-province-stage-1-en-2020-05-14.pdf?_ga=2.69189778.2006177927.1589477797-500872388.1575643750
Sector Specific workplace guidelines: https://www.ontario.ca/page/resources-prevent-covid-19-workplace?_ga=2.81257492.2006177927.1589477797-500872388.1575643750
Workplace PPE supply directory - https://covid-19.ontario.ca/how-your-organization-can-help-fight-coronavirus/#find-ppe
The City of Oshawa is undertaking a public consultation to obtain input on whether the City should pass by-laws under the Municipal Act, 2001 to control nuisance dust and dirt on roads and properties in Oshawa due to construction and development projects.
At its June 25, 2018, City Council considered report DS-18-127 “Dust Control Related to New Development” which identified a potential need to further control dust and mud primarily caused by site alteration in new development areas, beginning with the stripping or filling of the development site. Accordingly, City Council directed staff to undertake a public and industry consultation process to obtain feedback on whether the City should approve by-laws to control dust and mud associated with construction and development on roads and properties adjacent to the development.
Examples of such by-laws are appended in the following attachments in report DS-18-127 “Dust Control Related to New Development”:
Feedback will be considered in a report at a future meeting of City Council.
You can provide your feedback directly to Michelle Whitbread (email@example.com) or Ken Man (firstname.lastname@example.org).
You can also provide feedback to Stacey (email@example.com) for consideration for DRHBA's feedback letter.
Durham – May 8th, 2020 - The Durham Region Home Builders' Association (DRHBA) is excited to announce the winners of their 2020 Awards of Excellence.
These prestigious awards celebrate excellence in new homes, home renovations, innovative technology and construction, outstanding presentation and marketing of projects within Durham Region.
Due to the pandemic, DRHBA was not able to host its annual gala as normal, but still wanted to highlight the great work our members are doing in the community. So this year, DRHBA took their Awards ceremony online. The show went live on Thursday, May 7 at 7 p.m. and everyone was able to tune in from home to watch. Less than 24 hours after the show went live, it's been viewed almost 2,000 times! Watch the Awards here.
This year, members set a record for the number of nominations submitted and the competition was very fierce. Judges from across Canada scored all of the entries and produced this year's winners.
Congratulations to all of our winners!
This year's winners include:
Excellence in Digital Marketing
Marshall Homes – HERE
Excellence in Logo Design
Excellence in Print Ad / Direct Mail Piece
Great Gulf – Whitby Meadows
Excellence in Sales Brochure Design
Excellence in Signage
Holland Homes Inc. – Liberty Street
Excellence in Interior Decorating – Model Homes/Suite
Brookfield Residential – New Seaton, Dunbarton
Excellence in New Homes Sales Office – Small Volume
Geranium with credit to RN Design Limited and Colours and Concepts Inc. – Courts of Canterbury
Excellence in New Homes Sales Office – Large Volume
Excellence in Bathroom Renovation
Paradisaic Building Group – Publow Bathroom
Excellence in Kitchen Renovation
Accubuilt Construction Ltd. – Goodwood Kitchen
Excellence in Room Renovation
Trademark Homes – The 360
Excellence in Home Renovation/Addition ($100,001 to $250,000)
Excellence in Home Renovation/Addition ($250,001 to $500,000)
Trademark Homes – Modern Farmhouse Oasis
Excellence in Home Renovation/Addition ($500,001 and up)
Accubuilt Construction – Goodwood Renovation
Excellence in Landscape Project
Accubuilt Construction – Swiss Heights
Excellence in Custom Built Bathroom Design
Trademark Homes – Country Gem
Excellence in Custom Built Kitchen Design
DeSousa Homes Inc. – Brawley Kitchen
Excellence in Custom Built Home (under 2500 sq. ft.)
Andelwood Homes – Odlum
Excellence in Custom Built Home (2501-3500 sq. ft.)
Jeffery Homes – The Zylstra Residence
Excellence in Custom Built Home (3501-4500 sq. ft.)
Excellence in Custom Built Home (4500 sq. ft. and up)
DeSousa Homes – Brawley Custom
Excellence in Back to Back Townhome
Minto Communities with credit to RN Design Limited – Windsor Corner, Ivy Ridge
Excellence in Semi-Detached or Townhome under 2000 sq. ft.
Delpark Homes with credit to Cassidy & Co. Architectural Technologists – Kingsbridge 7
Excellence in Semi-Detached or Townhome over 2000 sq. ft.
RN Design Limited – Whitby Meadows
Excellence in Mid-Rise Building Design (4 to 6 Storeys)
Holland Homes Inc. – 976 Simcoe Street
Excellence in High-Rise Building Design (7 Storeys and Up)
Tribute Communities – UC Tower
Excellence in Production Built Bathroom Design
Trademark Homes – Sunset Heights
Excellence in Production Built Kitchen Design
Geranium with credit to RN Design Limited and Colours and Concepts Inc. – The Cavendish
Excellence in Single (under 2000 sq. ft.)
Geranium with credit to RN Design Limited and Colours and Concepts Inc.– The Cavendish
Excellence in Single (2001-3000 sq. ft.)
Minto Communities Ontario – RN Design Limited – Winchester, Ivy Ridge
Excellence in Single (3001-4000 sq. ft)
Excellence in Single (4001 sq. ft. and over)
Marshall Homes – HERE Flexhouz
Excellence in Social Media
Excellence in Training and Development
Cassidy & Co. Architectural Technologist
Excellence in Website Design
Excellence in Workplace Safety
Trade of the Year
The Fireside Group Inc.
Supplier of the Year
Reliance Home Comfort
Renovator of the Year
Accubuilt Construction Ltd.
Minto Communities Ontario
Community of the Year
Podium Developments – Ironwood in North Oshawa
Builder of the Year – Small Volume
Holland Homes Inc.
Builder of the Year – Large Volume
The Durham Region Home Builders' Association is a non-profit association composed of home builders, renovators, trade contractors, suppliers and related professionals. They have been an active voice for the residential construction industry in Durham Region for 65 years. For more information, visit www.drhba.com.
For more information contact Katelyn Widdop at 905-579-8080 ext. 1 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Durham Region Home Builders' Association is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 101C-1050 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa, ON L1G 4W5