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Emergency measures for Construction in Ontario: effective January 14


January 15, 2021
By Anthony Capkun


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January 15, 2021 – The Ontario government declared an second provincial emergency under 7.0.1(1) of the Emergency Management & Civil Protection Act (EMPCA), with measures in effect on January 14.

The Ontario Construction Secretariat issued a recap of these measures as they pertain to the Construction Sector…


Construction projects that are deemed essential and permitted to open under the province-wide shutdown include:

• Permitted construction activities or projects and related services, including land surveying and demolition services.

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• 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 healthcare 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 the 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,
– 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 (e.g. 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 services or telecom 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 and to ensure ongoing public safety.

• Below-grade multi-unit residential construction projects, such as apartments and condominiums.

• Construction on any project intended to provide either affordable housing or shelter or supports for vulnerable persons

The Ontario government also provided that businesses must follow public health measures and should review the workplace safety guidelines.

• 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, or
– a registered charity and not-for-profit within the meaning of the Income Tax Act (Canada).

• Maintenance, repair, and property management services that manage and maintain the safety, security, sanitation and operation of institutional, commercial, industrial, and residential properties and buildings is also permitted to operated during the province-wide shutdown.

The government release noted that essential construction services would operate with enhanced workplace testing and additional enforcement to ensure compliance, added OCS.



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