By Robin MacLennan
Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Simcoe County Home Builders’ Association (SCHBA), Ontario Home Builders’ Association and Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) are applauding the Ontario government’s decision to allow all construction projects to resume today.
The reactivation of construction activities will enable the industry to meet the housing, commercial building and renovation needs of Simcoe County and Ontario.
“We are still focused on the safety of jobsites, workers and clients,” said said Sandy Tuckey, SCHBA executive officer. “Getting our industry safely back to work means we can get back to providing the housing supply and choice our community needs, from renovations to new home builds to adding new commercial workspaces in Simcoe County.”
Last Thursday’s decision enables the full resumption of residential and non-residential construction and planned renovations today, removing restrictions on new home renovations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
All work sites must ensure that work is carried out in compliance with the Ministry of Labour’s Guidelines for Construction Site Health and Safety during COVID-19.
“The Simcoe County Home Builders’ Association and OHBA continues to support the critical role enforcement role of the Ministry of Labour inspectors and closing any jobsite that does not meet or exceed these requirements
“We all want safe jobsites,” said OHBA CEO Joe Vaccaro. “The health and safety of colleagues, employees, tradespeople and clients continues to be the industry’s number one priority as the industry continues to make enhancements to the COVID-19 health and safety protocols.”
He commended the provincial government’s “measured approach in response to this crisis.”
The reactivation of construction and renovations for both residential and non-residential means the industry can work through the short Canadian construction season “and deliver the keys to businesses waiting for their new work spaces and thousands of families waiting for the keys to their new or renovated homes,” he concluded.
The Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) says the decision to allow all residential construction to proceed “will have a tremendously positive impact on the economic recovery of the province as well as ensuring that housing is provided for thousands of Ontarians,” said RESCON president Richard Lyall.
“It will be critical that the municipal development and building review, permitting and inspection process support the industry’s efforts,” said RESCON president Richard Lyall.
“I am proud of our sector for successfully navigating through the early stages of the pandemic and continuing to deliver homes for the people of this province. We commend the leadership and thoughtful approach by the Ford government as it addresses the opening up of the province.”
RESCON led the early development and implementation of COVID-19 protocols for residential construction sites, which was a crucial element in most of the sector being designated as an essential workplace. Going forward, public health and the health and safety of workers will continue to be paramount for the industry.
“Our industry health and safety has always been and will remain our industry’s top concern,” said RESCON vice president Andrew Pariser.
“The proactive and stringent measures that our sector implemented on-site during COVID have been successful. Our rapid response and across-the-board implementation kept workers safe. We will continue to adhere to Ministry of Labour health and safety guidelines and remain vigilant addressing issues before they become hazards.”