Ontario's new COVID-19 emergency measures allow construction to continue on many developments, including condos. A detailed list of exceptions for construction companies comes amid strict new measures from Ontario's provincial government to control the spread of the coronavirus after projections that 1,000 COVID-19 patients could enter intensive care by early February.
An article from iheartradio reports that in addition to allowing construction on condos, affordable housing and shelters, and residential and multi-use buildings, the new rules just announced under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act carve out exceptions for construction on certain Crown or municipal projects.
The provincial government has announced that construction sites will be among the workplaces targeted by upcoming inspections that the majority of construction workers are in line with safety guidance.
According to files.ontario.ca, the following construction projects will be allowed:
- 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 for health care.
- 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 that support the operations of and provide new capacity in schools, colleges, universities, municipal infrastructure and child care centres.
- 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.
- 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 business 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.
- 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 and 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 workplace safety guidelines.
The following residential construction projects will be permitted under the following circumstances:
- A footing permit has been granted for single family, semi-detached and townhomes
- The project is a condominium, mixed use or other residential building
- The project involves renovations to residential properties and construction work was started before January 12, 2021
The following critical industrial construction activities will also be permitted:
- Maintenance and operations of petrochemical plants and refineries
- 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 on any project intended to provide either affordable housing or shelter or supports for vulnerable persons will be allowed. But only if the project is being funded in whole or in part by, or is being undertaken by, any of the following:
- The Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario
- An agency of the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario
- A municipality
- A service manager as defined in the Housing Services Act, 2011
- A registered charity and not for profit within the meaning of the Income Tax Act (Canada)
Editor's note: This is, indeed, a confusing time for the construction industry. DataBid is working tirelessly to report and distill the news that can help you and your company make the right decisions and keep you up to date on the constant changes as they are made. We hope our coverage brings some clarity amid all the confusion.
Posted by Judy Lamelza