Labour and business leaders from Ontario’s construction sector have thanked the province for helping to keep workers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Patrick J. Dillon, business manager at the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario and Geoff Smith, president and CEO of EllisDon, commended the government’s quick and effective actions since the global pandemic broke which, they said, helped keep construction workers safe in an open letter to Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Monte McNaughton.
“The result of all this work has been an extremely small number of COVID-19 cases – less than 20 by everyone’s count – on hundreds of worksites across the province,” they wrote.
“Your ministry and the industry leaders got to work to ensure that those few rogues that didn’t meet the industry guidelines were shut down, and that everyone else could continue working safely.”
The letter also said the government’s guidance for the sector as well as its support for increased health and safety inspections helped the construction industry immensely.
In response, McNaughton praised labour and businesses in the construction sector for their shared commitment to promoting health and safety in their workplaces.
“Construction is the lifeblood of our economy,” he said in the Sarnia and Lambton County this week newspaper. “When the COVID-19 global pandemic struck Ontario, the province’s construction sector rose to the challenge. The fact that Ontario’s construction sector has experienced such a small number of COVID-19 cases is truly remarkable.”
The ongoing success of the province’s construction sector is a positive sign that others can use as an example going forward, McNaughton said.
“We are in a time of firsts,” he is quoted as saying in the newsaper.
“Our roadmap is being drafted collectively, with labour, businesses and government all playing an important role. While there are still many unknowns, I have great confidence that our work together will result in safer workplaces for everyone.”