Ontario Premier Doug Ford said in his daily media conference April 1 that Ontario’s 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, “That’s 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 aren’t safe, we have hundreds of inspectors around the province going in to every site possible. If they’re 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. “There’s 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 didn’t realize this was going to happen, their new house isn’t ready, it is weeks away.”