The Ontario government is taking parts of the construction industry off of its list of ’74 essential businesses.’ Effective Saturday April 4th, all industrial construction, excluding critical construction (hospitals, transit) will be closed.
It means no new residential construction sites will be allowed to start. However, those residential and commercial, projects with a footing permit can continue. see image below. Ontario Premier Doug Ford says those sites currently under construction will be under intense scrutiny. “We’ve hired 60 more inspectors and will come down on you hard if the stringent rules aren’t followed.
Health and safety concerns were rampant after the industry as a whole was given ‘essential’ businesses status. The Ontario Construction Consortium (OCC) was one voice behind a chorus of calls for the provincial government to suspend work on construction sites across Ontario.
OCC Executive Director Phil Gillies said the message to the construction industry had been 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.” He also cited unsanitary conditions on construction job sites including a lack of running water.
Some harsh truths were revealed Friday as Ontario health officials shared what they are forecasting. The death toll from Covid-19 is expected to be between 3,000 to 15,000. This month alone officials expect 80,000 cases of COVID-19 and 1,600 deaths. It could have been much, much worse. Without public health measures, Ontario’s modelling projected 100,000 deaths. Read More