TORONTO — The Canadian Construction Association is calling on the Government of Canada for action and information in specific areas that will support the construction industry.
“This is a challenging time for all Canadians,” states a March 21 CCA release. “The construction sector stands ready to support the Government of Canada as it manages the COVID-19 crisis. This includes re-directing efforts to higher priority projects like hospitals and/or if directed, an orderly and thoughtful stoppage of some or all work in consultation with the industry.”
As of March 21, the CCA was recommending that construction and related manufacturing activities remain operational.
The CCA is asking the federal government to provide:
- Specific details on how companies and individuals can access the financial relief announced by the Government of Canada. The association says this is critical as it allows business owners to focus on health and safety without the pressing fear of business failure;
- Consistent guidelines and best practices from public health authorities across the country to ensure the health, safety and well-being of all workers on construction sites and at manufacturing facilities;
- A clear statement, supported by a commitment to future legislation, which addresses how the Government of Canada will treat delays, project disruptions and other COVID-19 related costs under federal contracts, as well as federal leadership in active dialogue with provincial authorities on a consistent approach to these issues;
- Prioritization of critical infrastructure and collaborative work with industry to prioritize allocation of essential resources, including manufacturing capacity to provide needed materials and equipment; and
- Instructions to Export Development Canada and Business Development Bank of Canada to urgently engage with industry and the financial services sector to deploy additional domestic credit to mitigate the short-term financial impact of COVID-19 related project delays and costs.
“As part of normal business practice and operations, the construction industry already has in place and implements highly disciplined health and safety protocols on construction sites and at manufacturing facilities,” states the release.
“In the current environment, our members have significantly amplified these protocols and implemented new measures based on recommendations from governments and public health authorities.”
“We will continue to actively evaluate this position as the COVID-19 situation evolves and in support of health and government directives,” adds the release.