essential construction ontario

Ontario bans non-essential construction and here's what that means

Ontario just banned some non-essential construction during the new round of lockdown restrictions announced on Friday.

The new restrictions come as COVID-19 cases continue to rise, with experts predicting that the province could still see 7,500 new infections per day by the end of this month.

The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the province have increased by 29.2 per cent between the period of April 7 and 13, 2021.

"As the latest modelling confirms, without taking immediate and decisive action COVID-19 cases will spiral out of control and our hospitals will be overwhelmed," said Premier Doug Ford.

Along with new travel restrictions and a stay-at-home order that now extends until at least May 20, non-essential construction is now being stopped.

While the specfics aren't exactly clear yet, construction at shopping malls, hotels, and office towers will be halted, Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, said at a press conference on April 16.

McNaughton added projects that are "critical to our health" will continue such as building on homes, hospitals, assessment centres, and long-term care homes.

"We need to ensure that those on these sites are being kept safe," McNaughton said.

Starting on Friday, more than 200 inspectors are visiting more than 1,300 construction sites over the next four weeks.

The visits are meant to ensure that public health measures are in place.

McNaughton also repeated the call for people to work from home, if their job allows. Travel to and from work has been a major contributor to the spread of COVID-19, he said.

"I can't stress enough to employers, if your staff can work from home, they must work from home."

Inspectors will also be visiting offices in the next few weeks to make sure people are protected and following public health guidelines.

"For employers and employees, take note, this is your last warning."

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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