September 11, 2020
Ontario Reopens Apprenticeship and Trade-Related Exam Centres

The Ontario government has gradually reopened all 24 provincial centres for apprenticeship and trade-related certifications, based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer and provincial health authorities. Apprentices and skilled tradespeople can now book their final exams at their local apprenticeship office.

Apprentices and journeyperson applicants normally have a 12-month deadline to pass the trade exam in order to maintain their status. A six-month extension was provided on March 18, 2020 due to COVID-19.

The ministry is drawing on its partnerships with external training delivery agents, such as unions and colleges, to help alleviate the accumulated backlog by providing space to host exams.

Click here to read the full News release.

Ontario Expanding Youth Training Programs to Promote the Skilled Trades

The Ontario Government is investing $43 million in expanded youth training programs to give young people exposure to more employment options. The programs will help increase awareness and encourage youth to acquire the skills that will start them down the path to lifelong success while supporting Ontario's economic recovery and future prosperity.

The government's investments to attract and train youth in the trades include:

  • $5 million, an increase of $3.5 million, to Skills Ontario so they can increase awareness of the trades among elementary and secondary students.
  • $17 million, an increase of $2.3 million, in the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) to send representatives to schools to provide high school students with the opportunity to learn about work in the skilled trades, and/or train as apprentices while completing their Ontario Secondary School Diploma
  • $21 million in Ontario's Pre-Apprenticeship Training program, giving students and graduates exposure to a variety of good jobs in the skilled trades. The program is free for participants and includes a work placement

They will advise on increasing awareness of the skilled trades among elementary school students, starting in grade one, with a focus on grades seven and eight, and on making it easier for high school students to learn about the options in the trades and to begin an apprenticeship pathway while continuing to earn secondary school credits.

Click here to read the full News release.

Buildings Show goes virtual for 2020 because of COVID-19

The annual Building Show/Construct Canada, traditionally scheduled for the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in the last days of November and early December, will become a virtual event this year because of COVID-19.

There will be a “virtual event preview” from Nov. 23 to Nov. 27, with formal event hours the following week:

  • Monday, November 30, 2020
  • Tuesday, December 1, 2020
  • Wednesday, December 2, 2020
  • Thursday, December 3, 2020
  • Friday, December 4, 2020

Registration to the digital platform is free for all industry trade professionals and the early bird deadline for discounted education programming expires Friday, Nov. 13.

Click here to read the complete news release.

Ontario Releases COVID-19 Management Plan for Schools

As part of Ontario's plan for students to safely return to the classroom in September, the government has released the Operational Guidance: COVID-19 Management in Schools document. This guide was developed in consultation with public health experts, including Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, and aims to help schools identify and isolate COVID-19 cases, reduce the spread of COVID-19 in schools, and prevent and minimize outbreaks.

Key elements of the guidance document explain:

  • The role of school boards and schools: keeping communities informed by creating a COVID-19 advisory section on both the board and school's websites;
  • The role of local public health units: leading case and contact tracing activities, declaring outbreaks and directing closure of classrooms or schools where necessary;
  • The critical role of parents: screening their children every day before they go to school and keeping them home if they are ill;
  • Appropriate steps to take when a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, including notifying the school community while respecting individual privacy; and
  • Protocols to trigger various levels of public health responses or infection control measures. One case will trigger a public health response, two or more linked cases will trigger the declaration of an outbreak.

The new guidance includes the following:

  • A protocol has been developed to deal with students who become ill while they are at school, including isolation, and providing personal protective equipment to the ill student and staff attending to them;
  • A clear communications process will be followed, so parents will know if a student or staff member in a school tests positive for COVID-19;
  • School boards will be required to work closely with public health units to communicate updates in real time and determine whether a class or school must be closed;
  • Led by Ontario Public Health, the government intends to surveillance test asymptomatic secondary students in schools.

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve, the guidance document will help support parents and schools as they continue to work together during these unprecedented times.

Click here to read the complete news article.

RICS survey finds mixed expectations for recovery

The report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), in partnership with the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering and the Canadian Institute of Quantity Surveyors, offers a snapshot of views on the effects of the pandemic from chartered surveyors around the world including a contingent of Canadians.

RICS indices of Canadian attitudes towards prospects over the next 12 months gave private non-residential a score of minus 18, reflecting significant pessimism. Private residential was minus three and infrastructure was plus 39, with government spending on infrastructure projects expected to provide a major boost to the sector and the economy.

For the coming year, profit margins are likely to be reduced, according to the report, with costs expected to rise four per cent while tender prices would only increase one per cent.

Click here to read the complete news article.

COVID-19 lumber shortage causes serious residential building project delays

A lumber shortage caused by COVID-19 supply and demand pressures is causing delays and price increases for residential builders and renovators, the Ontario Home Builders Association (OHBA) says.

In a note to Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association (GOHBA) members, the local association reports that the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) “has reached out to the Wood Council of Canada, the Forest Products Association of Canada, Western Retail Lumber Association, Fenestration Canada, and NAIMA to discuss ongoing price increases and supply chain issues.

Click here to read the complete news article.

Exclusive Discount for TCA Members on publishing Certificates of Substantial Performance (CSPs) in the Daily Commercial News (DCN)!

All certificates and notices published in the Daily Commercial News (DCN) are a flat fee of $300 (plus tax). Special Affinity Pricing of $200 per certificate is available to all ConstructConnect subscribers and TCA members.
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TCA Resources on COVID-19

To access TCA dedicated Covid-19 Updates, click here.