These are this week’s top stories, regarding the construction industry in Ontario, that you need to know.


April 3 – April 9, 2020

Essential businesses: Changes to the list of essential businesses

On Friday, April 3, following the advice from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ontario updated the list of essential businesses that can remain open. The restrictions are aimed at further reducing contact between people and stopping the spread of COVID-19. Please read for the changes in the construction industry in Ontario.

Changes in leadership at the Canada Infrastructure Bank

The government of Canada is announcing changes in the leadership of the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB). Mr. Sabia will become Chair of the Board of the CIB effective April 15, 2020 when Janice Fukakusa leaves her current post as Chair of the Bank. Ms. Fukakusa informed the Government and the Board of the CIB of her intention to step down a number of months ago.

Industry calls for the creation of an Emergency COVID-19 Construction Cost Relief Program

The Government of Canada understands that the impact of COVID-19 on construction contracts and contractors is unprecedented. This is an extraordinary situation and the construction industry is asking governments at all levels and private owners for extraordinary consideration to relieve some of these impacts to help ensure that the industry has the capacity and can mobilize quickly to build the Canada of the future.

CCA requesting modifications to the 75 per cent wage subsidy on behalf of members

The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) has sent a letter to the Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, requesting some flexibility to the 75 per cent wage subsidy program to better enable construction firms – 70 per cent of which are SMEs – to qualify. Maintaining their workforce is a priority for many firms who do not have the financial capacity due to the impact of COVID-19.

The Construction Record Podcast: Episode 80 – Industry response to COVID-19

This week’s podcast features Daily Commercial News and Journal Commerce national managing editor Vince Versace, digital media editor Warren Frey and staff writer Russell Hixon chatting together from their home offices via Microsoft Teams about the COVID-19 pandemic and how it continues to affect the Canadian construction industry.

Ontario Accelerates Essential Construction Projects During COVID-19

In response to the outbreak of COVID-19, Ontario is extending construction hours for essential construction projects, like critical projects in the health care sector, to 24 hours a day. Work on new hospital builds, expansions, and COVID-19 assessment centres will be able to continue any time of the night or day in order to help accelerate the construction of these important projects and enable employers to take additional steps to protect the health and safety of workers on these job sites.

Cavalier Tool lending a hand building sanitizer dispensers

Cavalier Tool and Manufacturing is literally lending a hand to produce needed medical supplies by helping an Ontario company ramp up production of commercial hand sanitizers in record time.

Release of Holdback Bonds During the COVID-19 Crisis

 The Ontario Lieutenant Governor in Council made an order under s.7.1 of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act suspending limitation periods in any legislation, regulation, order or by-law. This suspension is retroactive to March 16, 2020 and continues for the “duration of the emergency.”

Contractors seek clarity about inconsistent essential service provisions in COVID-19 shut-down regulations

Ontario’s general contractors are making pleas to Premier Doug Ford and the provincial government to clarify essential service designations, saying they are receiving conflicting and inconsistent answers from the government and local officials.

Good News

Bruce Power donates 600,000 pieces of PPE

Bruce Power will be providing 600,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to help support the province’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure frontline workers have the protection they need to continue to support Ontario’s families and communities.

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