A COVID-19 UPDATE TO MEMBERSHIP - Friday, April 3, 2020
Ontario Revises Definition of Essential Construction
Ontario Premier Doug Ford has announced today a revision to what is 'essential' construction. 

Following advice from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, on April 3, 2020, Ontario updated the list of essential businesses that can remain open. The restrictions are aimed at further reducing contact between people and stopping the spread of COVID-19.

By 11:59 p.m. Saturday, April 4, 2020, businesses that are not identified on this list must close their physical locations.

Maintenance, repair and property management services strictly necessary to manage and maintain the safety, security, sanitation and essential operation of institutional, commercial, industrial and residential properties and buildings .

Construction projects and services associated with the healthcare sector, including new facilities, expansions, renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space.

Construction projects and services required to ensure safe and reliable operations of, or to provide new capacity in, critical provincial infrastructure, including transit, transportation, energy and justice sectors beyond the day-to-day maintenance.

Critical industrial construction activities required for,
·    the maintenance and operations of petrochemical plants and refineries,
·    significant industrial petrochemical projects where preliminary work has already commenced,
·    industrial construction and modifications to existing industrial structures limited solely to work necessary for the production, maintenance, and/or enhancement of Personal Protective Equipment, medical devices (such as ventilators), and other identified products directly related to combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Residential construction projects where ,
·    a footing permit has been granted for single family, semi-detached and townhomes
·    an above grade structural permit has been granted for condominiums, mixed use and other buildings, or
·    the project involves renovations to residential properties and construction work was started before April 4, 2020.

Construction and maintenance activities necessary to temporarily close construction sites that have paused or are not active and to ensure ongoing public safety.

Niagara's municipalities declare state of emergency in response to COVID-19
Niagara’s municipalities declare state of emergency in response to COVID-19
Today, in anticipation of a surge of COVID-19 activity in Niagara in the coming weeks, Niagara Region and Niagara’s 12 local area municipalities have jointly declared a state of emergency. Read More
CCA Webinars, Standardized Protocol for Construction Sites, Financial Support Options for Construction Industry
  • The CCA has produced a wealth of construction-relevant information on financial support options. Click HERE for article and HERE for tips on preparing to meet with your financial institution.

  • CCA's April 2nd "Navigating COVID-19" CONnected webinar - Economic Update – What you need to watch, as the outbreak continues to unfold, with presenter Peter Hall, Vice President and Chief Economist, Export Development Canada - is available HERE

  • COVID-19 - Standardized Protocols for All Canadian Construction Sites (March 30, Version 2), outlines the best practices for all construction sites to follow in order to maintain the health and safety of all workers required to perform duties during the COVID-19 crisis - click HERE
NCA Closing Physical Office to the Public
Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the NCA will be closing the physical office to the public, effective Friday, April 3, 2020. Phones will be answered Monday through Friday, 12:30pm to 4:30pm. Commissioning of Oaths service will be offered virtually. Please see details below.
 
If you require assistance in purchasing seals, commissioning, or picking up drawings, this will be available Tuesday and Thursday afternoons by appointment only. Please contact Natalie to make arrangements (or general inquiries) at 905-682-6661 or office@niagaraconstruction.org
 
The remainder of the staff are working remotely and will continue to serve you.
Staff can be reached through email, as follows:
 
Karin Sheldrick (available 8:30 am to 4:30 pm), General Manager karin@niagaraconstruction.org (Industry News, Board liaison/matters,
accounting, associations liaison, member concerns)
 
Lisa Cahill (available 8:30 am to 12:30 pm), Plans Room Coordinator plans@niagaraconstruction.org (EPR, CSP's, prints)
 
Connie Stefanson (available 10:00 am to 3:00 pm), Marketing Associate connie@niagaraconstruction.org (marketing, membership inquiries, events)
Virtual Commissioning Available for Members
at the NCA
The NCA will now be providing virtual commissioning of statutory declarations to NCA members, via video conferencing and email.

Our partnership with Link2Build has resulted with consultation with the Law Society of Ontario on this issue, and we are confident in their determination of this service.
The Law Society's details on this can be found HERE (virtual commissioning) and HERE (virtual commissioning during COVID-19); we encourage members to familiarize themselves with this information.

The process essentially entails:

  • Member emails Natalie or Karin when they are ready to have a stat dec commissioned; staff will email Member instructions to set up the video conference

  • Member has photo identification, seal, and the UNSIGNED stat dec ready

  • Staff will witness the signing, and the Member will scan and send by email to Staff

  • Staff will verify, sign and date the stat dec, and scan and email it back to the Member

If you don't have a printer/scanner/copier option, this can be accomplished via your cell phone.
GNCC Free Assistance for Niagara Businesses Navigating COVID-19 Funding & Support
In the spirit of "we all need to stick together and support each other right now" the GNCC is offering their assistance to Niagara businesses who are navigating the myriad funding and support options that have been announced.

Contact:
Mishka Balsom
President/CEO
mishka@gncc.ca
OR
Hugo Chesshire
Policy and Government Relations Manager
Cell: 289-990-9445  
More WSIB Extensions, Updated Guidelines, COVID-19 Exposure
Last week, the Government of Ontario issued a regulation under the  Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act , suspending legislated limitation periods for the duration of the state of emergency.
 
As a result, the WSIB are temporarily extending the following time limits:
 
  • six-month time limit after an injury or illness to file a claim for benefits
  • six-month time limit to file a claim for benefits following a WSIAT decision
  • 30-day time limit for objecting to a return-to-work decision
  • six-month time limit for objecting to any other decisions related to a WSIB claim or account
 
The suspension applies to any time limits that expired on or after March 16, 2020 and will remain in effect until further notice.
 
Procedural time limits:
 
We continue to expect employers and injured or ill people to make all reasonable efforts to meet the normal procedural timelines, unless they are prevented from doing so due to the state of emergency. Examples of such situations might include an employer needing to focus on setting up their staff to work remotely, or a small employer themselves being struck by the virus.
 
In such cases, decision makers will use their discretion to reasonably extend the following timelines:
 
  • three-day time limit for an employer to notify the WSIB of an injury or illness
  • 10-day deadline for an employer or an injured or ill person to report a material change in circumstances
  • three-month time period to make an out-of-province or third-party election
 
FYI, the following information is also posted on our website:
 
Filing WSIB COVID-19 claims:

The information below outlines how and when people should file claims related to COVID-19.
 
While the nature of some people’s work may put them at greater risk of contracting the virus, for example those treating someone with COVID-19, any claims received by the WSIB will need to be adjudicated on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the facts and circumstances. 
  • If you contracted COVID-19 while at work (you have a diagnosis or symptoms of COVID-19), you may file a claim to determine if you are eligible for WSIB coverage. 
  • If you believe you were exposed to COVID-19 while at work, but you are not ill at this time (you do not have a diagnosis or symptoms of COVID-19), please do not file a claim. Instead, you can file an exposure incident form through our Program for Exposure Incident Reporting (PEIR) or Construction Exposure Incident Reporting (CEIR) programs. These are voluntary reporting programs and you will be assigned an incident number. If you become ill in the future, we'll be able to process your claim faster. 
 
To report an exposure, please complete and fax the appropriate form below to 1-888-313-7373 or call the WSIB at 1-800-387-0750, Monday to Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
 
For additional information, please visit the WSIB website .

All industries (except construction): Worker's Exposure Incident Form (PDF) or Employer’s Exposure Incident Form (PDF)
Paperless Payments, Please
  • - Note to NCA Members -
In our efforts to go paperless, we are asking NCA members to make payments via credit card, EFT (electronic funds transfer) or e-transfer when paying NCA invoices.

Please contact Karin to set up EFT or with any questions.
Niagara Area Building Inspections, Permits, Planning Offices - Update by Municipality
The NCA has compiled updates from Niagara's municipal building and planning departments, including building inspections, building permits, planners' availability, and more. Click HERE .
An Urgent Appeal for Masks
President and CEO of the Niagara Health Foundation Roger Ali has made an appeal for companies and residents to donate any masks they may have in their shops or workplaces. He says they are taking any and all masks, whether they are N95 /respirator or surgical, and they will let hospitals decide which ones they can use.

Our health care community is our front line to getting this pandemic under control, and the shortage of these masks is a major detriment to everyone who works in the health industry.

We are appealing to the construction industry because many contractors
and trade contractors use these particular masks.

Please contact: Karin Sheldrick to arrange delivery. Thank you in advance for your support, and please stay safe and healthy.
REPORT YOUR STATUS - COVID-19 Niagara Construction Job-Site/
Office Closures/Restrictions/Business Notices

To assist our members in sharing the status of their companies/projects at this time, we are posting your  job-sites and/or office closures, business notices and/or restrictions  here  .

Please complete form  here   for us to post the information on our website  or tag us with your changes on Facebook and/or Twitter. Or, just  email  and let us know your updated information.
NCA COVID-19 RESOURCES
The Niagara Construction Association (NCA) is monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely and will do what we can to ensure members have up-to-date information by communicating through e-blast, social media posts, and  COVID-19 RESOURCES. (please navigate the drop-down menu for industry-specific news, updates, information, and links).
Please do not hesitate to contact me at karin@niagaraconstruction.org with any concerns or questions, or suggestions to our website/eblast COVID-19 information.

Thank You,

Karin Sheldrick
General Manager
www.niagaraconstruction.org