April 8, 2020
Ontario Accelerates Essential Construction Projects During COVID-19

TORONTO — In response to the outbreak of COVID-19, Ontario is extending construction hours for essential construction projects, like critical projects in the health care sector, to 24 hours a day. Work on new hospital builds, expansions, and COVID-19 assessment centres will be able to continue any time of the night or day in order to help accelerate the construction of these important projects and enable employers to take additional steps to protect the health and safety of workers on these job sites.

Premier Doug Ford, Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, today announced extended construction hours and other measures to keep Ontario workplaces safe.

"During this escalating crisis, we are taking immediate steps to ensure the necessary infrastructure is in place, particularly to properly care for those with severe COVID-19 symptoms and other patients who require critical care," said Premier Doug Ford. "That's why we're extending construction hours to allow us to build essential infrastructure faster, while ensuring construction workers can practice physical distancing on work sites to stay safe and healthy."

Click here to read the full News Release

CCA requesting modifications to the 75 per cent wage subsidy program on behalf of members

OTTAWA, April 8, 2020 —The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) has sent a letter to the Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, requesting some flexibility to the 75 per cent wage subsidy program to better enable construction firms – 70 per cent of which are SMEs – to qualify. Maintaining their workforce is a priority for many firms who do not have the financial capacity due to the impact of COVID-19.

Members of the construction industry have said that the wage subsidy program will not benefit them because the revenue reduction requirement of 30 per cent may not occur within the current eligible period of March-May or it may not reflect the reality of their business.

Click here to read the full press release.

Working-at-Heights training extended for Ontario construction
The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development is giving workers in the construction sector an extra year to renew their training if they work at heights.

The mandatory training of more than 120,000 workers was due to expire over the next six months. However, many training providers have either cancelled classes or shut down due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The extension will apply to workers who successfully completed their working-at-heights training between February 28 and August 31, 2017. The validity period, normally three years, would have ended this year. It will now end in 2021.

The extension will ensure affected workers can continue to work when possible. Construction will move ahead without interruption.

Click here for more information.
The Economy Under COVID-19: Notes from the Trenches - April 8, 2020
There are currently two crises underway simultaneously. The advance of the novel coronavirus is taking a terrible toll in terms of physical and emotional well-being. At the same time, job losses resulting from ‘social distancing’ are sending the economy into a tailspin. To fight on both fronts, governments are advancing rescue packages of never-seen-before dimensions. Every day, the tremendous number of factors in play reconfigure in a new way. These ‘from the trenches’ notes attempt to shed some light along a murky pathway.

  • During the 2008-2009 economic doldrums, GM and Chrysler needed government bailouts. In this current COVID-19 crisis, Boeing dearly wants to avoid a similar fate. More than 40% of commercial aircraft around the world are said to be sitting idle on runways or in hangars. They must come out of storage and be re-deployed before the thoughts of airline owners will turn to purchasing new planes.

  • To slash expenditures, Chicago-based Boeing is offering buyout packages to its 160,000-member workforce. The company has a sizable storehouse of cash on hand and access to enormous sums of credit. It’s one of America’s largest exporting firms. Uncertainty as to its future seems unimaginable. It’s also true, however, that Boeing entered this maelstrom more vulnerable than usual due to the safety failings of its Max 737 passenger jets.

  • There’s a mill on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, that produces K106 soft pulp from red cedar. The output from Harmac Pacific’s plant south of Nanaimo is shipped to 3M in Minnesota for use in N95 respirators and medical gowns. It’s little-known linkages such as this that can lead to unlikely corners of the economy being designated as ‘essential’.

TCA Resources on COVID-19

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