Construction sector among the "essential workplaces" permitted by Ontario, Quebec

Construction sector among the "essential workplaces" permitted by Ontario, Quebec | Insurance Business

Construction sector among the "essential workplaces" permitted by Ontario, Quebec

In an effort to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 infection, the provincial governments of Ontario and Quebec have each announced closures for all “non-essential” businesses – but essential ones, such as the construction sector, will remain open.

In a recent announcement, Ontario Premier Doug Ford ordered the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces in the province.

“This order will be effective Tuesday, March 24, at 11:59pm, for 14 days,” the premier said.

A list of businesses permitted to stay open in Ontario was published earlier this week in accordance with the premier’s order. According to the list, certain construction projects can continue to operate, with a few caveats:

  • 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;
  • 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;
  • Construction work and services, including demolition services, in the industrial, commercial, institutional and residential sectors;
  • Construction work and services that support health and safety environmental rehabilitation projects.

Quebec has also passed a similar measure, ordering the closure of non-critical businesses. Only the following businesses involved in the construction sector can continue to operate amid the coronavirus-driven lockdown:

  • Construction firms for emergency dispatching or security purposes;
  • Electricians, plumbers and other trades for emergency services;
  • Rental equipment.

A federal aid package worth $82 billion to help Canada’s businesses recover from the financial pain caused by the outbreak is expected to roll out in early April.

CBC News reported that as of March 23, 2020, Quebec had the highest number of reported COVID-19 cases among the provinces with 628, followed by Ontario with 504.