Canadian Building Industry Supports New COVID-19 Restrictions in Ontario

December 30th, 2020 by Editor

Attempting to curb the climbing numbers of COVID-19 cases in the province and spare hospitals and their intensive care units from being inundated in January, the Ontario government announced a new lockdown for citizens, shuttering all non-essential businesses beginning on Boxing Day and expected to last until at least January 23. The area covered includes 27 public health units in the southern part of the province.

Under the current measures, construction activities and supporting services for new building may continue with enhanced COVID-19 protocols and inspections in place. Sales centers for new developments must move to virtual and/or appointment only formats. The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) both came out in support of the actions taken by the provincial government.

“Throughout the course of the pandemic, our industry has continued to work safely, and the very low number of cases associated with construction activities are a reflection of this,” said Dave Wilkes, president and CEO of BILD. “Health and safety are paramount on construction sites and never more so than during this pandemic. Our members have implemented and continue to enforce measures and policies that meet or exceed all provincial requirements.”

Viewing the announcement as a necessary step to curb the growth in cases and provide the health care system with the ability to cope as vaccinations ramp up, the associations view the move as a chance to provide Canadians with a light at the end of a very dark tunnel; allowing building to continue will mean not exacerbating the housing supply crisis in what they say is an already undersupplied market.

“We all want to be safe at home and at work,” said Joe Vaccaro, CEO of OHBA. “With these new restrictions, the Ontario government continues to make public safety the priority. Across Ontario, industry members have been continuously enhancing their health and safety and COVID-19 protocols. We support increased inspection and enforcement and are utilizing the extended construction hours to stagger work and increase social distancing on projects. All of our members, from builders to renovators to suppliers, will continue to focus on public and worker safety while ensuring that thousands of families get the keys to the homes they have been waiting for across Ontario.”

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