Friday, April 3, 2020

Given the COVID-19 projections by Ontario’s Ministry of Health, the Ontario Government announced that no new residential construction projects (i.e. no new building permits will be issued) will be able to move forward after Saturday, April 4th at 11:59 PM.

With the projected numbers as the backdrop, Premier Ford made several announcements on closures directly related to the construction industry.

For residential construction, projects can continue if:

  • 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 building;, or
  • the project involves renovations to residential properties and construction work was started before April 4, 2020.

Non-essential industrial construction will also be shut down with the exception of those that are necessary for the production, maintenance, and/or enhancement of Personal Protective Equipment, medical devices (such as ventilators), and other identified products directly related to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.

To see the full list of changes to essential services by the Ontario government, click here.

The government’s announcement comes on the heels of the Ontario Ministry of Heath’s news briefing on the COVID-19 models that project the infection rate/spread and fatality possibilities.  Health officials noted that without self-isolation and social/physical distancing measures currently in place, Ontario could have seen upward of 100,000 cases and over 6,000 fatalities.  With current measures, Ontario could see close to 80,000 cases and 1,600 fatalities by the end of April. With new measures and the closer of additional services,  the fatality rate could drop below 300.

This of course may impact future decisions by other provinces.  It also makes CHBA’s recommended changes to the wage subsidy that much more important for the government to implement.  More on that to follow today in National Update.