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Readers ask: ‘What really is essential construction?’

DCN-JOC News Services
Readers ask: ‘What really is essential construction?’

TORONTO — As new COVID-19 lockdown measures officially take effect across Ontario today, those in the construction industry are left with more questions than answers when it comes to what work can be carried out and what can’t. 

Premier Doug Ford indicated at a media conference on Jan. 12 there would be restrictions on non-essential construction as part of broader measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 but did not initially define what was essential.   

The Daily Commercial News has since been fielding questions from members of the industry after the province released the list of essential construction projects later that day.

Questions continue to pour in, with the Daily Commercial News team seeking answers from government officials. One source of information is the government’s Stop the Spread Business Information Line, launched last March. Call 1-888-444-3659 to speak to a government customer service representative who can offer guidance to understanding the list of essential projects. 

Below are some examples of what those in the industry want to know. 

With residential construction being “essential” and allowed to commence if a footing as been installed before January 12th, would that mean that the companies office staff should be going to the office to work?
— Amy —
What about property damage involving insurance claims ? Fire or water losses?
— Jeff Bowman —
What about roofing companies who are requested to do repair work during winter and Covid19 for insurance claims due to weather damage, leaks etc.?
— Marg Bell —
Would construction of a new pharmacy be considered essential especially if the work is being done my members of the same household?
— Faheem —
Is a plumber considered an essential worker? I would think so. People need water to drink and to be able to flush their toilet, they also need a plumber when their drain is clogged or frozen. I’d like some sort of confirmation. Hopefully I don’t get a ticket. I’ve read the list. They don’t mention plumbers or electricians, only one mentioned is construction is put on hold, and I do service work. They have to get their act together.
— Cliff Craig —
I am perplexed at this move. Construction sites have implemented stringent Covid-19 protocols to go with the other many safety protocols we follow on a daily basis. MOL registered construction sites deemed unessential should remain open as these are registered and can be visited by the MOL at any time for Covid-19 inspections. There are many fly by night sites that will continue as they are “Flying under the MOL Radar”. I assure you these sites do not have any protocols let alone ones that are monitored.
— Angelo Ortepi —
Working for a home builder and my job is warranty technician. Can I do non essential repairs ie fix drywall, squeak in the floor ,repair scratches in floor? 95 % of my job is cosmetic.
— Randy —
Is a bathtub company considered essential?
— Caroline —

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