January 12, 2021 - The Government has declared a second provincial emergency in response to ever-more alarming COVID numbers. You can read the release here. Of particular importance to OSSGA members will be the new restrictions on construction activities.
Essential Construction now includes:
- Permitted construction activities or projects and related services, including land surveying and demolition services.
- Construction projects and services associated with the healthcare sector and long-term care, 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, or to provide new capacity in, provincial and municipal infrastructure, including transit, transportation, energy, mining, and justice sectors beyond day-to-day maintenance.
- Construction projects and services that support the operations of, and provide new capacity in schools, colleges, universities, municipal infrastructure and childcare centres within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014.
- Construction projects under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.
- Construction projects and services that support the operations of broadband internet and cellular technologies and services.
- Critical industrial construction activities required for the maintenance and operations of petrochemical plants and refineries, and significant industrial petrochemical projects where preliminary work has already commenced.
- Industrial construction and modifications to existing industrial structures limited solely to work necessary for the production, maintenance, and/or enhancement of Personal Protective Equipment, medical devices (such as ventilators), and other identified products directly related to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Construction projects that are due to be completed before July 2021 and that would provide additional capacity in the production, processing, manufacturing or distribution of food, beverages, or agricultural products.
- Construction projects that were commenced before January 12, 2021, and that would,
- provide additional capacity for businesses that provide logistical support, distribution services, warehousing, storage or shipping and delivery services, or
- provide additional capacity in the operation and delivery of Information Technology (IT) services or telecommunications services.
- Residential construction projects where,
- a footing permit has been granted for single family, semi-detached and townhomes
- the project is a condominium, mixed use, or other residential building, or
- the project involves renovations to residential properties and construction work was started before January 12, 2021.
- Construction to prepare a site for an institutional, commercial, industrial, or residential development, including any necessary excavation, grading, roads, or utilities infrastructure.
- Construction and maintenance activities necessary to temporarily close construction sites that have paused or are not active, to ensure ongoing public safety.
- Below-grade multi-unit residential construction projects, such as apartments and condominiums. The Ontario government also provided that businesses must follow public health measures and should review the workplace safety guidelines.
- Construction on any project intended to provide either, affordable housing, or shelter or supports for vulnerable persons, If the project is being funded in whole or in part by, or is being undertaken by, any of the following:
A. the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario,
B. an agency of the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario,
C. a municipality,
D. a service manager as defined in the Housing Services Act, 2011, or
E. a registered charity and not for profit within the meaning of the Income Tax Act (Canada).
Also in the announcement:
- Effective Thursday, January 14, 2021at 12:01 a.m., the government is issuing a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work. This order and other new and existing public health restrictions are aimed at limiting people's mobility and reducing the number of daily contacts with those outside an immediate household. In addition to limiting outings to essential trips, all businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home.
- A new "Stay Safe All Day" campaign is being launched focusing workplace inspections in areas of high transmission, including break rooms, and providing new educational materials to employers to promote safe behaviour before, during and after work. Inspectors will use a data-driven approach to focus on workplaces with reported COVID-19 outbreaks, manufacturing businesses, warehouses, distribution centres, food processing operations, construction projects and publicly accessible workplaces deemed essential, such as grocery stores. The Ministry is also using a new data-sharing program, in conjunction with the Ministry of Long-Term Care and the Retirement Regulatory Authority, to focus onsite inspections of long-term-care homes and retirement homes.