Electrical Business

COVID-19 Updates Blog

We’re on the mend, despite Covid • from the editor

September 11, 2020 | By Anthony Capkun

Anthony Capkun, Editor

September 11, 2020 – If you’re reading this, then you’ve made it through the summer in one piece (if not a little bruised). Congratulations! I’m very glad to see you here.

It feels like forever since I last spoke with you. It’s been a busy summer for news; hopefully, you took the time to sign up for our weekly newsletter, or to follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter, so as to stay connected with the industry between print editions of Electrical Business Magazine.

But the main news for all of us is that, while covid has not been eradicated, we’ve all pretty much found our groove when dealing with both it and its accompanying health-related restrictions and protocols. However, finding that groove does not mean we’re not still hurting on the jobsite.

To that end, the National Trade Contractors Council of Canada (ntccc.ca) issued a call to all trade contractors to write their local MPs and encourage the feds to support the construction sector. Decreased productivity and a reduction in available labour will cause delays on projects—and delays cost money.

The federal government has an important role to play in setting an example, says NTCCC, by showing flexibility on timelines and other contract terms, as well as providing financial relief on projects tendered before the pandemic to ensure liquidity of the construction industry.

The council has provided a letter-writing link on its website that allows you to send a pre-written, personalized letter to your MP and the Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada, urging them to take action.

Meantime, StatsCan confirms what we already know: the second quarter of 2020 started with record declines in April for building permits; in fact, the second quarter decrease was the largest reported since Q4 2008 (the last big financial crisis).

But here’s some pretty good news… the easing of health restrictions in May allowed construction intentions to bounce back and continue to advance in June. Furthermore, StatsCan says total investment in building construction increased 60.1% to $13.4 billion in May 2020.

While this is partially a rebound from those large declines in April, it’s nonetheless positive news. We’re moving in the right direction!

— Anthony Capkun, acapkun@ebmag.com.

This column—along with other great content—appears in the September 2020 edition of Electrical Business Magazine.

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