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  • May 08, 2020 12:18 PM | Anonymous

    OHBA/BILD/RESCON obtained a legal opinion from Leo Longo at Aird & Berlis LLP to provide some guidance and clarity regarding what construction activities are permitted under new residential regulations posted on Monday (82/20) and earlier today (200/20).

    Please review the legal opinion and Attachment A that outlines the related construction activities connected to the Regulation 30.1 that now permits construction to prepare a site for residential development including excavation, grading, roads or utilities infrastructure. 

    This industry legal opinion should assist members in determining what construction activities are permissible under the new regulations and should help to confirm those activities when in discussion with your local municipal building officials.

    As always, industry members should consult with their local building departments, own legal counsel, and any additional professionals before proceeding under the current state of emergency regulations, and always document and prepare to defend their decision to continue construction activities as the penalties under the State of Emergency are significant.

    View/Download Legal Opinion

  • May 01, 2020 2:23 PM | Anonymous

    The Durham Region Home Builders' Association and the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) welcome the Government of Ontario’s decision today to expand the list of allowable construction activities under the COVID-19 Emergency Orders. The resumption of more normal construction activities will allow the industry to meet the housing needs of the Durham Region and Ontario.  

    “Building new homes and communities is a long complicated process and requires different construction activities over a number of seasons,” said Johnathan Schickedanz, president of DRHBA. “Losing the entire construction season for site servicing would be setting our local housing supply back, and risk the homes that our clients are looking to move into next year.  Under the new provincial guidelines, we will continue to deliver homes safely today and in the future. “

    Today’s decision to resume earthworks or site grading makes sense as every operator is in their own machine, therefore ensuring physical distancing.  Site grading is vital to every construction site as it must be completed before all other construction activity can start.

    In addition, the decision allows for site and land-servicing projects to commence or continue new residential, industrial, commercial and institutional developments. Underground servicing, the installation of storm water controls, water pipes, sanitary sewer pipes, road construction, including curbs and sidewalk, landscape works, trails, parks and utilities (telecommunications, water, gas, electricity, etc.) are necessary for the activation of new homes and eventual occupancy.

    Work must be carried out in compliance with the Ministry of Labour’s Guidelines for Construction site Health and Safety during COVID-19 and the industry supports shuttering any site that does not meet these necessary requirements.

    “We all want safe jobsites,” said Joe Vaccaro, OHBA CEO. “Adding these new construction activities along with new provincial COVID-19 health and safety guidelines means members will continue to focus on worker safety while delivering keys to the thousands of families waiting for their homes to be completed. We can keep each other safe while delivering housing supply across Ontario.”

  • May 01, 2020 2:21 PM | Anonymous

    Steady Decrease in COVID-19 Cases Required Before Beginning Next Stage of Reopening

    TORONTO ― The Ontario government is allowing certain businesses and workplaces to reopen as long as they comply with strict public health measures and operate safely during the COVID-19 outbreak. Those permitted to start up include seasonal businesses and some essential construction projects.

    Today's announcement was made by Premier Doug Ford, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

    The Chief Medical Officer of Health has provided general recommendations on how the openings of businesses and workplaces could be implemented to support safe operations, including strict adherence to health and safety requirements.

    "We are allowing certain businesses to reopen under strict guidelines because we are confident they can operate safely and adapt to the current environment," said Premier Ford. "While further reductions in the spread are needed before we can begin reopening the province, we have the right framework and the right workplace guidelines in place to do so gradually and safely." 

    The government, in partnership with Ontario's health and safety associations, has developed more than 60 guidelines in response to COVID-19. These sector-specific measures will help employers prepare their workplaces so they can be reopened safely and ensure workers, customers and the general public are protected.

    By following the proper health and safety guidelines these businesses will be permitted to begin operations on Monday, May 4 at 12:01 a.m.:

    • Garden centres and nurseries with curbside pick-up and delivery only;
    • Lawn care and landscaping;
    • Additional essential construction projects that include:
      • shipping and logistics;
      • broadband, telecommunications, and digital infrastructure;
      • any other project that supports the improved delivery of goods and services;
      • municipal projects;
      • colleges and universities;
      • child care centres;
      • schools; and
      • site preparation, excavation, and servicing for institutional, commercial, industrial and residential development;
    • Automatic and self-serve car washes;
    • Auto dealerships, open by appointment only;
    • Golf courses may prepare their courses for the upcoming season, but not open to the public; and
    • Marinas may also begin preparations for the recreational boating season by servicing boats and other watercraft and placing boats in the water, but not open to the public. Boats and w atercraft must be secured to a dock in the marina until public access is allowed.

    "Ontario workers and businesses have shown exemplary cooperation and resilience throughout the course of this crisis," said Minister Fedeli. "We're beginning to ease restrictions on select businesses as we carefully and methodically re-open Ontario's economy and continue together on our path to renewed prosperity."

    Although certain businesses are being permitted to reopen, it is critical that people continue to stay home, practise physical distancing and only go out for essential reasons, to pick up groceries, prescriptions or to keep a medical appointment. It is through these simple actions that Ontario is making progress to stop the spread of COVID-19.  

    "As we begin planning for the next phase of our fight against COVID-19, Ontarians should continue to stay home as much as possible to ensure we stop as quickly as possible the spread of this virus," said Minister Elliott. "While we have made tremendous progress in our shared battle against this new virus, we are not done yet. We need to keep up the fight by continuing to practise physical distancing and good hygiene habits."

    On April 27, the government released A Framework for Reopening our Province, which outlines the criteria Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts are using to advise the government on the loosening of emergency measures, as well as guiding principles for the safe, gradual reopening of businesses, services and public spaces.

    While the government remains in Phase One of Ontario's Action Plan in response to COVID-19, Protect and Support, allowing certain businesses and workplaces to open under strict guidelines demonstrates the government's commitment to balance the needs of the economy with the health and safety of the people of Ontario.

    "People's efforts are paying off and we can see a light at the end of the tunnel," said Minister Phillips. "Our response has always been based on the current status of the outbreak in our province, and on what makes sense for Ontario. To be clear ― we haven't moved into the reopening phase of our response to COVID-19. Not yet. But based on the best public health advice available to us, we are a step closer."

  • April 30, 2020 5:05 PM | Anonymous

    TORONTO ― The Ontario government is ensuring employers have the safety guidelines they need to protect workers, customers, and the general public from COVID-19 as it prepares for a gradual reopening of the provincial economy.

    The government safety guidelines released today will provide direction to those working in manufacturing, food manufacturing and processing, restaurant and food service, and the agricultural sector. These measures build on more than 60 guidelines developed by Ontario's health and safety associations in response to COVID-19 for various sectors such as retail, health care, construction, transportation, police services, firefighters, and transit employees. 

    "We all want to reopen our businesses, services and favourite places across the province, but we must do it in a safe and responsible way," said Premier Ford. "That's why we are providing clear guidelines to employers, with practical measures to help them keep staff and customers safe while preventing the spread of COVID-19. By taking these steps, we will be prepared to get people back to work when the time is right."

    These new sector-specific guidelines feature recommended actions employers can begin to plan for as they prepare to adapt to the new reality during COVID-19, including:

    • Ways to ensure appropriate physical distancing, like eliminating pay-at-the-door options, holding team meetings outdoors, staggering shift times and using ground markings and barriers to manage traffic flow.
    • Changes to the workplace, like installing plexiglass barriers, increasing the air intake on building heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to increase air flow, and using boot sanitizing trays.
    • Promoting proper workplace sanitation, providing personal protective equipment, substituting dry dusting with vacuuming, ensuring customer-facing staff are given hand sanitizer, providing a place to dispose of sanitizing wipes, and enforcing handwashing before and after breaks.

    The government is also issuing posters to promote a variety of useful safety tips. The posters offer helpful advice on physical distancing and sanitation. They are downloadable from the Ontario.ca website so employers can print and post them in their workplaces.

    "We are truly in extraordinary times and employers and employees are facing situations they have never had to deal with before," said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. "It is incumbent on our government, with the advice of health officials, to provide the guidance and tips outlining the safest ways to reopen workplaces and help prevent the spread."

    The government will work with Ontario's health and safety associations to bring forward additional workplace safety guidelines for more sectors in the coming days and weeks.

    Starting this week, 58 new inspectors will join the hundreds of existing provincial labour inspectors on the ground. The inspectors, which include workers from the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) and the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT), will be tasked with communicating COVID-19 safety guidelines to essential workplaces or enforcing emergency measures, including physical distancing and the closure of non-essential businesses.

    "Protecting the health and well-being of Ontarians during the COVID-19 outbreak has been and will always be our government's number one priority," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "These guidelines will help employers begin to plan for their safe reopening based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and in alignment with our framework to ease public health measures and restart our economy. In doing so, we can ensure we continue to stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep workers safe."

    "Our province's businesses have made great efforts to protect the health and safety of their workers throughout the course of this pandemic," said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. "These new guidelines will help employers continue to protect their staff and customers as we begin to carefully and methodically re-open our economy, so that we can return Ontario to prosperity in the safest way possible."

    The government is committed to a careful, stage-by-stage approach to loosening emergency measures and reopening Ontario's economy. Public health and workplace safety will remain the top priority, while balancing the needs of people and businesses.

  • April 30, 2020 4:57 PM | Anonymous
  • April 30, 2020 4:26 PM | Anonymous

    The Town of Whitby hosted a stakeholder session yesterday on their proposed Whitby Green Standards.  You can view/download the presentation here

    Here's what DRHBA members need to know:

    • Included in the proposed standards are four tiers - Tier One is mandatory and the other three are voluntary - for now.
    • There are several criteria in Tier One that were not previously mandatory within the current Town of Whitby design criteria.
    • Tier One mandates that low rise construction must be built to Energy Star® or R-2000, and high rise construction must be built to 15% better than code.
    • The Town of Whitby has not done costing to see how this will affect affordability
    • The Town believes that these standards will not delay approval timelines, even though the checklist will need to go through several different municipal departments
    • The first year will be a pilot, with Tier One being mandatory
    • The Town is looking at making the other tiers mandatory in the future
    • Other municipalities may follow Whitby's lead if their standards are successful

    Important Dates

    • May 11 - Council Information Session
    • May 21 - Public Open House

    The Town is currently seeking more feedback from builders and developers, and others potentially affected by the implementation of the Whitby Green Standards.  DRHBA strongly encourages members to complete the online survey and provide your comments and feedback.

    If you have questions or concerns, please contact Stacey at s.hawkins@drhba.com.

  • April 27, 2020 2:19 PM | Anonymous

    Enbridge is now accepting requests from residential new construction builders for gas services on homes with occupancy dates up to May 8th.

    Enbridge has also updated the Q & As to reflect more current info on site safety precautions.

    View/download site safety precautions

    View/download contact information

  • April 27, 2020 2:08 PM | Anonymous

    Premier and Ministers Commit to New Phased Approach for a Safe Restart and Recovery

    TORONTO — Today, the Ontario government released A Framework for Reopening our Province, which outlines the criteria Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will use to advise the government on the loosening of emergency measures, as well as guiding principles for the safe, gradual reopening of businesses, services and public spaces. The framework also provides details of an outreach strategy, led by the Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee, to help inform the restart of the provincial economy.

    Details were provided by Premier Doug Ford, Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.

    "Our top priority remains protecting the health and safety of the people of Ontario and supporting our frontline heroes as we do everything in our power to contain and defeat this deadly virus," said Premier Ford. "At the same time, we are preparing for the responsible restart of our economy. This next phase of our response to COVID-19 is designed to help us map out what needs to be done, and when, to get us back on the road to recovery."

    The government is planning a stage-by-stage approach to reopening the economy to ensure there are appropriate measures in place so workplaces can open safely. Public health officials will carefully monitor each stage for two to four weeks, as they assess the evolution of the COVID-19 outbreak to determine if it is necessary to change course to maintain public health.

    • Stage 1: For businesses that were ordered to close or restrict operations, opening select workplaces that can immediately modify operations to meet public health guidance. Opening some outdoor spaces like parks and allowing for a greater number of individuals to attend some events. Hospitals would also begin to offer some non-urgent and scheduled surgeries, and other health care services.
    • Stage 2: Opening more workplaces, based on risk assessments, which may include some service industries and additional office and retail workplaces. Some larger public gatherings would be allowed, and more outdoor spaces would open.
    • Stage 3: Opening of all workplaces responsibly and further relaxing of restrictions on public gatherings.

    Throughout each stage, continued protections for vulnerable populations must be in place, along with the continued practice of physical distancing, hand washing and r espiratory hygiene, and significant mitigation plans to limit health risks.

    "Recent public health indicators show us that we're beginning to turn a corner in the COVID-19 outbreak, while economic data, feedback from businesses and insights from our communities are outlining how we need to plan for economic recovery," said Minister Phillips. "Turning on an economy after an unprecedented shut-down is not as simple as flipping a switch. We need to plan this out carefully to ensure we do not spark a sudden outbreak, undo the progress we have made and put the safety of the public at risk."  

    To reopen the economy, the government will consider factors such as the risk of the spread of COVID-19 and the ability to implement protective measures to keep workplaces safe. The Chief Medical Officer of Health and health experts will provide advice to the government about easing public health measures using a range of set criteria, including:

    • A consistent two-to-four week decrease in the number of new daily COVID-19 cases;
    • Sufficient acute and critical care capacity, including access to ventilators and ongoing availability of personal protective equipment;
    • Approximately 90 per cent of new COVID-19 contacts are being reached by local public health officials within one day, with guidance and direction to contain community spread; and
    • Ongoing testing of suspected COVID-19 cases, especially of vulnerable populations, to detect new outbreaks quickly.

    "It is because of the collective efforts of all Ontarians to stay at home and stop the spread of COVID-19 that we are able to consider plans to move into the next phase of our battle against this virus," said Minister Elliott. "The Chief Medical Officer of Health has outlined some criteria he will use to advise government on when we may begin to slowly and safely ease public health measures and restart our economy. To be able to do so, w e need everyone to continue their extraordinary efforts so that we can meet these thresholds and begin to move forward."

    Supporting the next phases of Ontario's Action Plan, the new Ontario Jobs and Recovery Committee, chaired by Minister Phillips, will be consulting with key sectors in all regions to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the provincial economy and develop a plan to move forward. The government and Members of Provincial Parliament will lead discussions with business associations, chambers of commerce, municipal leaders, the postsecondary sector, corporate leaders, small business owners, community and social service providers, Indigenous partners, Franco-Ontarians, entrepreneurs and others.

    The work of the committee will build on Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19, the first phase of the government's $17 billion response, that is delivering targeted relief for businesses and families across Ontario.

    "The COVID-19 outbreak has had far-reaching economic impacts for businesses and communities across Ontario," said Minister Fedeli. "In the face of these challenges, businesses and individuals have stepped up to support our frontline workers, produce essential equipment and keep our supply chains moving. Our plan to carefully and methodically reopen Ontario's economy will ensure that businesses are supported on our path to renewed economic prosperity."

  • April 27, 2020 11:28 AM | Anonymous

    On April 24, 2020, the Government of Ontario took further action to support corporations, including condo corporations, co-operative corporations, businesses, and not-for-profits during the COVID-19 outbreak with amendments to Emergency Order O. Reg. 107/20.

    The Emergency Order is in effect province-wide and retroactive to March 17, 2020, the day the Declaration of Emergency came into effect. The Emergency Order can be accessed here: https://files.ontario.ca/solgen-oic-meetings-for-corporations.pdf and will be available on e-laws shortly.

    The Emergency Order was amended to:

    1)      Permit corporations governed under the Co-operative Corporations Act (CCA) and Condominium Act, 1998 (Condo Act) to hold meetings virtually, notwithstanding current requirements or restrictions;

    2)      Extend the time period in which corporations governed under the CCA and Condo Act must hold annual meetings; and

    3)      Address additional matters related to meetings for corporations under the Corporations Act (CA), Business Corporations Act (OBCA), Condo Act and CCA, such as the re-issuing of notices to hold a meeting virtually after a notice of meeting has already been sent, in certain circumstances, and, as applicable, the requirement to present financial statements at annual meetings within a specified period.

    The order applies to requirements under the CA, OBCA, CCA, and Condo Act.

    Questions related to Emergency Order O. Reg. 107/20 can be directed to Victoria Walker, Manager, Policy and Business Law Unit at Victoria.Walker@ontario.ca.

  • April 24, 2020 2:18 PM | Anonymous

    The Durham Region Home Builders' Association has been asked to join Oshawa's Economic Recovery Task Force, initiated by Mayor Dan Carter and chaired by Ward 2 City and Regional Councillor Tito-Dante Marimpietri.

    The Association is being represented by executive officer Stacey Hawkins, who will attend (virtually for now) the bi-monthly meetings.

    The purpose of the task force is to identify actions to support the needs of Oshawa businesses impacted by COVID-19 and how the City and businesses can work together to help the economy recover.

    The task force is made up of members of the business community in Oshawa, and includes representatives from post-secondary institutions, public institutions, the business community and the development community.

    If members have any comments, concerns or ideas they would like brought to the task force, please email them to Stacey at s.hawkins@drhba.com.

    Stacey may also be reaching out to members for feedback and information to bring back to the task force.

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