Ontario Lifts Essential Workplace Limits on Construction

John Mollenhauer

Effective Tuesday, May 19,2020, Premier Doug Ford gives Ontario constructors the green light to re-mobilize. There were sites protected under the Essential Services list that remained open of course, but for the rest of us, being included in the Stage 1 Return to Work is an enormous victory. Now the fun begins.

Corona has redefined normal. And for those that haven’t been following our daily news releases, it’s time to do your homework. Premier Ford believes Ontario “will set the gold standard for construction across the country” and I agree. The truth is that about 3,000 compliance orders were issued and 20 job sites have been shut down since Ford declared a state of emergency in March but despite the hiccups, to date essential services construction workers have not contributed a single case of COVID. No wonder the Premier was “so proud of the construction sector” when he announced he would be restarting the economy late last week.

To be clear, we do not expect medical scientists to come up with a COVID-19 vaccine any time soon. In fact, they still don’t have a SARS vaccine. As a result, the new normal will inevitably include social distancing and rigorous new health & safety protocols. And the risk of a second wave is real.

Going forward, our skills as business owners will be tested. Most of us have little or no operating capital in the wake of COVID and worry, as well we should, that costs around productivity loss and contract disruption may never be reimbursed. That said, we are a resilient bunch with an enviable track record for overcoming obstacles.

For our part, TCA will help employers prepare for the storm that starts when COVID ends and we will use every resource at our disposal to ensure your business prospers sooner than later. Like you, we are bound by federal and provincial COVID protocols. We are “open for business” of course but we too have a new normal and we ask that office visits for the near term be by appointment only.

Thank you for your loyal support during these difficult times.

John Mollenhauer, TCA President & CEO

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