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


May 8 – May 14, 2020

Significant decline in construction employment in new StatsCan Data

Statistics Canada released its April Labour Force Survey data today, with data showing steep declines in employment across the economy. After being spared from the full impact of the coronavirus economic disruption in the previous month, Ontario’s construction employment fell dramatically in April. Ontario’s economy as a whole has now lost over a million jobs since the disruption began, and its unemployment rate increased in April to double-digits.

Ontario announces additional workplaces that can reopen

The Ontario government announced the retailers, seasonal businesses and health and community service providers who will be permitted to open or expand their services on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. The government and health and safety associations have released more than 90 safety guidance documents to assist employers in multiple sectors, including construction, retail, facilities maintenance and manufacturing.

Declaration of emergency extended while Ontario gradually reopens the economy

The Ontario government is extending the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. This additional time will ensure the province has the necessary tools and health care capacity to contain COVID-19, while gradually reopening businesses, services, and amenities safely.

Feds unveil new COVID-19 stream for provincial infrastructure program

The federal government is preparing to spend more than $3 billion in infrastructure money on projects to make facilities more pandemic-resistant and encourage outdoor activities in the age of COVID-19, Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna says.

Ontario to face severe economic contraction

The COVID-19 pandemic will have a massive negative impact on Ontario’s economy. Unlike previous recessionary periods where lower demand forced businesses to cut production, the current decline in economic activity is due to government-directed shutdowns to stop the spread of the virus. As a result, Ontario’s economic performance will depend heavily on the success of pandemic containment measures and the pace at which the economy can be reopened through 2020 and into 2021.

Metrolink shares first look of LRV entering crosstown tunnel

For months, every inch of progress on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project seemed to dominate headlines, but as the COVID-pandemic took over every aspect of daily life, the often-controversial project has been out of the spotlight. But since construction has been deemed an essential service, crews have been able to continue working on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Hamilton-Brantford Building and Construction Trades Council shocked by decision to cancel $500 million courthouse construction

The sudden cancellation announced last Thursday sends a mixed message about restarting the economy after the COVID-19 crisis, Ellerker noted.

Emergency COVID-19 construction rules on First Nations reserves – How does the law apply?

How do the Ontario Government’s COVID-19 emergency regulations apply to construction contractors working on indigenous reserves?

Wage-subsidy program to be extended as steep job losses continue

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Friday that the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) will be extended beyond its early-June endpoint. The program covers 75 per cent of worker pay up to $847 a week to try to help employers keep employees on the job in the face of steep declines in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an announcement in Ottawa, Trudeau says more details on the extension will come next week.

Good News

Virtual AMO 2020 conference and AGM

AMO 2020 is moving to a virtual conference, August 17 – 19, 2020! More than ever, AMO members, partners and key stakeholders need a forum to come together to share experiences, build understanding, strategize and plan for a strong future.

AMO committed to a conference experience that will meet the needs of our members and provides value for the sponsors and exhibitors who help make the conference possible.

Construction resumes on London’s largest project after seven-week COVID-19 shutdown

Maple Leaf Foods is resuming construction on a $660-million chicken processing plant in London after a nine-week shutdown due to COVID-19, now that Ontario has eased restrictions on essential construction projects.

Mexico to reopen construction, mining, auto manufacturing

Mexico’s top advisory body on the coronavirus pandemic said Tuesday it has issued guidelines that would allow for the re-opening of construction, mining, and car and truck manufacturing.

LiUNA Local 527 launches campaign to promote careers in the skilled trade

The OCS Research and Marketing Partnership Grant is an annual program to assist labour and management organizations with research and promotional activities to enhance the unionized ICI construction sector.

Have a look at how our 2020 recipient, LiUNA Local 527, has launched their campaign!


Archived Weekly Roundup

Additional Information Sources