Under COVID-19 restrictions, builders face near omni-present risks of the pandemic

Ontario construction industry players hail provincial government's decision to halt projects

Under COVID-19 restrictions, builders face near omni-present risks of the pandemic

A new survey by the Bank of Canada has found that the housing construction industry has not yet been fully affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, most of the firms operating in this sphere have “indicated significantly more uncertainty about the demand for their products and services,” Reuters reported.

Among the most dramatic of the industry changes brought about by the coronavirus was Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s recent announcement of a total stop on all residential construction in the province.

Only single-family, semi-detached, and townhouse projects with footing or above-grade structural permits, along with residential renovations that started before April 4, will be allowed to continue.

The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) expressed strong support for the measure.

“The health and safety of our workers is the industry’s number one priority,” BILD president and CEO David Wilkes said. “Following the recent release by the Ministry of Labour of new health and safety guidelines for construction sites during COVID-19, members have implemented strict controls to ensure worker safety. This includes additional requirements for sanitization, physical distancing, illness reporting and logging the number of workers on individual sites.”

“We all want safe jobsites,” OHBA CEO Joe Vaccaro added. “Across Ontario, industry members have been enhancing their COVID-19 protocols as required by government. With the new provincial restrictions on active job sites, members will continue to focus on worker safety and delivering keys to the thousands of families waiting for their homes to be completed.”