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Adjustment of essential industries imminent: Ford

Don Wall
Adjustment of essential industries imminent: Ford

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said in his daily media conference April 1 that Ontarios list of essential industries is in the process of being reviewed and adjusted with news of changes to come possibly as early as today.  

The list was announced March 23 and included all facets of the ICI construction sector. Since then, there has been a handful of confirmed cases of COVID-19 among construction workers.  

Asked directly about keeping construction jobsites open at the media briefing, Ford said, Thats being reviewed every single day. We are going to be adjusting that list. You are going to be hearing more in a day or so. 

The premier also offered statistics on inspections of construction sites. There have been 300 inspections in recent days, he said, with three sites shut down and 160 orders to comply issued. 

If the sites arent safe, we have hundreds of inspectors around the province going in to every site possible. If theyre not safe, they are going to be shut down, it is as simple as that. 

Ford offered a justification he had previously used for keeping residential construction in operation.  

We also have to keep in mind, you hit one trigger, it affects other triggers, he remarked. Theres thousands and thousands of people waiting to get into their homes. I got a call from a couple the other day, they have no place to live, because they sold their house, they didnt realize this was going to happen, their new house isnt ready, it is weeks away. 

Recent Comments (4 comments)

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Mark Kewley Image Mark Kewley

The sooner the better. I work for a small residential and commercial painter. I worry every day on bringing the virus home. There are different trades in and out. We don’t need to be there. I know how serious this is. Send us home to be safe…

Karen Breeck MD Image Karen Breeck MD

Although COVID-supporting construction is essential, not all construction is COVID supporting. The very same N95 masks, face shields, eye protection and gloves used by many workers on these construction sites could also be used, today, by our health care workers. Until all health care workers have access to protective gear, let’s work together as a community. Let’s put non-COVID related construction on pause and allow the construction companies to not have to choose between protecting their own workers and supporting health care workers. For Ontario’s health care workers, it literally is a matter of life and death. Over 10% of Ottawa COVID-19 cases are health-care workers. Please consider paying it forward and donating available PPE to health care workers who need your support now in order to safely work in these usual times.

Chris Brennan Image Chris Brennan

Residential construction rarely has over 5 people at one time. Usually one trade with 2-3 people. Next trade doesn’t arrive until previous trades finished up. There is no need to shut us down

Ash Boufford Image Ash Boufford

I agree that construction is essential, however, I think that they need to enforce social distancing guidelines for the quantity of workers on site, and provide better on site washroom facilities which can, at a marginal cost, be rented for the workers on site.


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