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


June 5 – June 11, 2020

Construction employment stabilizes but Ontario posts record-high unemployment rate

Statistics Canada released May’s job numbers on Friday, showing that the decline in construction jobs in Ontario has stopped. Although the industry began reopening non-essential construction in early-May, employment has not yet begun to recover.

Job losses have been arrested in the construction industry, and the province as a whole, however, the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate increased in May to its highest on record.

Ontario permits more businesses and services to reopen in the coming days

The Ontario government announced that it is getting more people back to work and more recreational activities open by moving forward with a regional approach to Stage 2 of reopening the province.

Industry Perspectives Op-Ed: Investing in infrastructure must mean investing in Canadians

With governments across Canada considering investments in infrastructure as a way to stimulate the economy, one critical piece that must not and cannot be overlooked is the important role that infrastructure will have directly on Canadians.

Ontario infrastructure investments face possible risk: report

According to a new report prepared for the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO), municipal governments are facing the prospect of massive operating deficits due to the heightened need for services and a simultaneous drop in revenue.

Combined with a significant expected decline in GDP, this could put Ontario’s infrastructure investments at risk, which will have long-term implications for growth even after the threat of COVID-19 has passed.

COVID-19 contract language: Should contractor take all the risk?

This is a story of COVID-19 and contract language and, according to the Ontario General Contractors’ Association (OGCA), it demonstrates the challenges of dealing with one-sided clauses and unreasonable risk transference from owners to contractors.

Montreal construction workers scramble to find proper safety gear

When Mitchell Rose and his crew demolish old walls or floors made with asbestos, the blows of their hammers release fibres into the air. If inhaled, the fibres travel deep into the lungs, possibly causing permanent or even deadly scarring. They wear masks that filter out the harmful particles. But the masks, labeled as P100s, require filter cartridges, Rose says, and those are nowhere to be found.

Good News

Construction has started on the new Calabogie Generating Station in eastern Ontario

The $140 million Ontario Power Generation rebuild project will replace the now out-of-service, 4.8 mega-watt powerhouse. The century-old facility was damaged in 2018 by a tornado. The new higher capacity powerhouse will be positioned about 50 metres upstream from the existing building.

Plumbing apprentice shares journey at virtual First Nations conference

There are many reasons why Dan White, a third-year plumbing apprentice at UA Local 46, chose the skilled trades as a second career.

“Being in the trades you have the ability to have financial freedom.” – Dan White, Plumbing Apprentice

OCCA introduces Constructing a Career video

The Ontario Construction Careers Alliance (OCCA) says it has released a new  “Constructing a Career” video to promote jobs in the industry and trades to young people.

The video was produced because the province has declared that schools will not reopen for the remainder of the term, OCCA says in a statement. The OCCA is reaching out to school boards and teachers to encourage circulation of the video and earlier videos developed by Job Talks.

The two-minute video is on the OCCA website at and on YouTube.

Archived Weekly Roundup

Additional Information Sources