Provincial COVID-19 Updates2020-03-31T11:18:31-04:00

It is a challenging time for all, but we at the CISC are working hard to keep our membership community connected. Please see below some resources & links to reliable sources of information

Latest News

Ontario

Click to view Provincial Gov Site for updates

Please note important updates:

TORONTO — Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, issued the following statement today regarding health and safety on construction sites:

“The health and safety of construction workers is a top priority for our government. With the COVID-19 situation changing day by day, we are working to ensure that workers have the tools they need to help keep job sites safe. We must do everything possible to fight the spread of this disease.

Read more: https://news.ontario.ca/mol/en/2020/03/ontario-stepping-up-measures-to-limit-the-spread-of-covid-19-on-construction-sites.html?utm_source=ondemand&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=p

Premier Ford and Minister Phillips Announce Additional Health Care Resources and Support for People, Jobs and Employers

TORONTO — Today, Finance Minister Rod Phillips released Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19 (March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update).

The government’s action plan is a first step in its response to COVID-19 and includes $7 billion in additional resources for the health care system and direct support for people and jobs. It also will make available $10 billion in support for people and businesses through tax and other deferrals to improve their cash flow, protecting jobs and household budgets.

This $17 billion response is a critical first step to ensure our health care system, communities and economy are positioned to weather the challenges ahead. The plan includes historic levels of prudence, including a dedicated $1 billion COVID-19 contingency fund, as part of the additional health care investments, as well as an unprecedented $2.5 billion reserve and an increased contingency fund of $1.3 billion to provide continued flexibility to respond to changing global circumstances.

The plan includes $3.3 billion in additional health care resources to protect the health and well-being of the people of Ontario.

“As Finance Minister, my number one priority right now is ensuring that our front-line health care professionals have the resources they need to fight the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Minister Phillips. “The people of Ontario can have confidence that we will do whatever it takes to protect their health and well-being. These additional resources will enhance hospital capacity, protect our loved ones in long-term care, and support our public health officials’ work to flatten the curve and slow the spread.”

Health

  • Committing to a dedicated $1.0 billion COVID-19 contingency fund for emerging needs related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Investing $935 million for the hospital sector, including $594 million to accelerate progress on the government’s commitment to address capacity issues, as well as $341 million for an additional 1,000 acute care and 500 critical care beds and additional assessment centres.
  • Increasing public health funding by $160 million to support COVID-19 monitoring, surveillance, and laboratory and home testing, while also investing in virtual care and Telehealth Ontario.
  • Investing $243 million for surge capacity in the long-term care sector, as well as funding for 24/7 screening, more staffing to support infection control, and supplies and equipment to help tackle the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Investing $75 million to supply personal protective equipment and critical medical supplies to front-line staff to tackle COVID-19.

As part of the action plan, the Province also announced $3.7 billion to directly and urgently support people and to protect jobs.

“During this global pandemic, I want the people of Ontario to be focused on their health — not worrying about losing their job or how to make ends meet as they deal with unexpected additional expenses,” said Minister Phillips. “We are helping make life a little more manageable for every person in Ontario, while providing additional support to those who need it the most.”

Key initiatives in the government’s plan to strengthen its response to the COVID-19 outbreak and support people, families, workers and employers include:

People and Jobs

  • Helping families pay for the extra costs associated with school and daycare closures during the COVID-19 outbreak by providing a one-time payment of $200 per child up to 12 years of age, and $250 for those with special needs, including children enrolled in private schools.
  • Proposing to double the Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payment for low-income seniors for six months.
  • Supporting more affordable electricity bills for eligible residential, farm and small business consumers, by providing approximately $5.6 billion for electricity cost relief programs in 2020-21, which is an increase of approximately $1.5 billion compared to the 2019 Budget plan.
  • Further supporting more affordable electricity bills by setting electricity prices for residential, farm and small business time-of-use customers at the lowest rate, known as the off-peak price, 24 hours a day for 45 days to support ratepayers in their increased daytime electricity usage as they respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, addressing concerns about time-of-use metering.
  • Cutting taxes by $355 million for about 57,000 employers through a proposed temporary increase to the Employer Health Tax (EHT) exemption.
  • Providing $9 million in direct support to families for their energy bills by expanding eligibility for the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) and ensuring that their electricity and natural gas services are not disconnected for nonpayment during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Providing emergency child care options to support parents working on the front lines, such as health care workers, police officers, firefighters and correctional officers.
  • Expanding access to the emergency assistance program administered by Ontario Works to provide financial support to people facing economic hardship and help more people meet basic needs such as food and rent during this public health emergency.
  • Enhancing funding by $148 million for charitable and non-profit social services organizations such as food banks, homeless shelters, churches and emergency services to improve their ability to respond to COVID-19, by providing funding directly to Consolidated Municipal Service Managers and District Social Service Administration Boards who would allocate this funding based on local needs.
  • Providing six months of Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) loan and interest accrual relief for students, leaving more money in people’s pockets.
  • Helping to support regions lagging in employment growth with a proposed new Corporate Income Tax Credit, the Regional Opportunities Investment Tax Credit.
  • Providing additional supports of $26 million to Indigenous peoples and communities, including emergency assistance for urban Indigenous people in financial need, and costs for health care professionals and critical supplies to reach remote First Nations.

The government’s plan also includes measures that will make available $10 billion in support for people and businesses through tax and other deferrals to improve their cash flows over the coming months, including:

  • Making available $6 billion by providing five months of interest and penalty relief for businesses to file and make payments for the majority of provincially administered taxes.
  • Over $1.8 billion by deferring the upcoming June 30 quarterly municipal remittance of education property tax to school boards by 90 days, which will provide municipalities the flexibility to, in turn, provide property tax deferrals to residents and businesses, while ensuring school boards continue to receive their funding.
  • Making available $1.9 billion by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) allowing employers to defer payments for up to six months.

“We’re taking responsible steps to lessen the burden for businesses and people,” said Minister Phillips. “Together, these actions can free up as much as $10 billion in cash flows for businesses and people in these uncertain times, helping protect jobs and household budgets.”

Quick Facts

  • The March 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update provides planning assumptions for the year ahead. The government will provide regular updates of the Province’s fiscal and economic outlook throughout the year.
  • The Province is projecting a deficit of $9.2 billion in 2019–20, an improvement of $1.1 billion relative to the 2019 Budget. As a result of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the government is planning for a deficit of $20.5 billion in 2020–21.
  • Ontario’s $2.5 billion reserve in 2020–21 is the highest ever in history.
  • The government will release a multi-year provincial Budget by November 15, 2020. This responsible approach will allow the government to continue assessing the economic situation and put forward a long-term outlook based on the most recent and reliable data.

Additional Resources

New Measures to Further Protect the Health and Safety of the People of Ontario

March 23, 2020 1:30 P.M.

TORONTO — To further contain the spread of COVID-19, the Ontario Government will order the mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces effective as of Tuesday, March 24th at 11:59 p.m. This closure will be in effect for 14 days with the possibility of extending this order as the situation evolves. A full list of businesses that are permitted to stay open will be released tomorrow.

“This was a tough decision, but the right decision, as this is no time for half measures,” said Premier Doug Ford. “But I have said from day one we will, and we must, take all steps necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19. The health and safety of every Ontarian must come first. The health of you, your children, your grandparents and friends depends on all of us doing our part.”

Businesses that can continue operations with employees working remotely, or through other contingency measures, are being given approximately 36 hours to prepare and adapt. Essential services may continue their operations to maintain supply chains and ensure the people of Ontario have access to necessities, including groceries, medicines and other essential products.

A 1-800 number and website will be made available on Wednesday for any inquiries.

“Based on the advice of Dr. Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, and the experts at our Command Table, Ontario is taking further action to contain the spread of COVID-19,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “These enhanced measures are necessary to protect the health and well-being of Ontarians. Nothing is more important.”

“Our top priority must be to protect the health of the people of Ontario,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance. “Slowing the spread of COVID-19 will allow the people and the businesses of Ontario to move forward from this unprecedented situation.”

“Our government is listening to our public health officials to ensure we take the right actions to support the health and safety of Ontario job creators and workers,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “We are working directly with businesses and workers across all sectors to support them in any way possible through this crisis. We urge the business community to share their innovative ideas and capabilities to fight COVID-19 through our new portal Ontario Together at www.ontario.ca/OntarioTogether.”

LEARN MORE

  • Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.
Click here to view list of essential workplaces
More Info Can be found here

Quebec

Click to view Provincial Gov Site for updates

L’ICCA Québec rappelle que « Ça va bien aller » !! Ensemble, on va passer au travers!
The Quebec CISC reminds us that “It’s going to be fine” !! Together, we will get through this!

Please note important updates:

François Legault, Premier of Quebec,

We appreciate your taking the time to assess the critical issues affecting the steel construction industry. We congratulate you on your leadership in implementing an action plan necessary to put in place all of the measures aimed at protecting the health of the population.

The CISC represents the entire steel construction supply chain, bringing together manufacturers, builders, service centers, retailers, consultants, industry suppliers, owners and developers.

The CISC asks you to support Quebec manufacturers and suppliers of steel, with policies and laws that guarantee jobs and financial health. Quebec represents a significant part of the manufacturing of Canadian steel structures. We employ approximately 130,000 people and our top priority is the safety of our workers, employees and businesses.

We ask that you confirm to us that the manufacturers (fabricators) and steel suppliers, have the choice and can minimize their manufacturing at their shops, if they are not in a position to close. We are asking you to assure them that they are able to continue their activities, if this is essential for them.

According to your directives to reduce to a minimum, from Wednesday March 25 at 00:01 until April 13, 2020, all of the services and activities that are not of a priority, you ordered all the companies producing inputs or raw materials necessary for priority services and activities to maintain their activities accordingly, taking into account public health directives. You have also allowed companies working in non-essential services, excluding shops, to maintain a minimum level of operations to ensure the resumption of their activities, by considering public health directives. Noting that teleworking and online commerce are always permitted, for all businesses.

What we understand from these guidelines is that these orders would apply to steel manufacturers and suppliers. This is even more critical for those who also have construction sites in the United States, because they need to continue to deliver their products, an essential factor for the survival of their business in the short and medium term. In addition, some manufacturers have several projects in progress and it is then necessary to continue their manufacturing in order to be able to deliver according to the terms and conditions of their contracts, without exposing themselves to legal disaster and major costs; the same goes for material suppliers.

We assume that we are aligned with the Ontario government order and position, which defines and includes the following in the list of essential workplaces established in response to COVID-19.

Manufacturing and production

  1. Businesses that extract, manufacture, process and distribute goods, products, equipment and materials, including businesses that manufacture inputs to other manufacturers (e.g. primary metal/ steel, blow molding, component manufacturers, chemicals, etc. that feed the end-product manufacturer)
  2. Businesses, facilities and services that support and facilitate the two-way movement of essential goods within integrated North American and Global supply chains

Construction

  1. Construction projects and services associated with the healthcare sector, including new facilities, expansions, renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space
  2. Construction projects and services required to ensure safe and reliable operations of critical provincial infrastructure, including transit, transportation, energy and justice sectors beyond the day-to-day maintenance
  3. Construction work and services, including demolition services, in the industrial, commercial, institutional and residential sectors
  4. Construction work and services that supports health and safety environmental rehabilitation projects

Obviously, for those who must remain open with a reduced workforce, they will continue to take the necessary measures to protect the health and safety of their employees. They will ensure that they have protocols that have already been established for the disinfection of tools, equipment and common areas and several manufacturers are always ready to put in place additional measures that could be deemed necessary for the continuity of their activities.

We are asking the Quebec government to confirm that the manufacturers and suppliers of steel materials and services are considered essential during this quarantine period.

I am also enclosing the letter sent to the Prime Minister of Canada, the Honorable Justin Trudeau, with reference to this issue.

The CISC of the Quebec region encourages the Quebec government to provide direct assistance to businesses through subsidies, by providing a bill for wage subsidies as announced by the federal government.

Together we can ensure the revival of the Quebec economy. Please accept Mr. Legault, Premier of Quebec, the expression of my distinguished feelings.

Click here to view French document

The Québec government has ordered the closing as of Wednesday, March 25 at 00:01 until April 13, 2020 of all non-essential stores and services including construction EXCEPT the following:

Maintenance and operation of strategic infrastructure, including:

  • the production, procurement, transmission and distribution of energy (electricity, fossil energies).
  • the maintenance in good operating condition of essential public infrastructure such as bridges, municipal buildings, and so on.
  • construction, maintenance and the maintenance of essential activities related to public and private infrastructure that may pose a threat to public health and safety (private dams, the management of hazardous and radioactive materials, on so on).
  • health services and supply chain, for example, a water treatment plant.
  • computer resources (security, maintenance, urgent needs related to the situation).
  • data centres.

Construction sector:

  • construction firms for emergency dispatching or security purposes.
  • electricians, plumbers and other trades for emergency services.
  • rental equipment.

Building maintenance services –

  • building-maintenance firms (elevators, ventilation, alarms, and so on).
Click here for more information

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is causing widespread social and economic uncertainty. Amongst other commercial effects, it has led to travel restrictions, workplace disruptions and global supply chain issues.
Read more: https://www.blg.com/en/insights/2020/03/contractual-risks-amid-the-covid-19-outbreak

La maladie causée par le nouveau coronavirus (la « COVID-19 ») crée beaucoup d’incertitude sur le plan social et économique. Parmi ses effets sur le commerce, mentionnons les restrictions sur les voyages, les perturbations en milieu de travail et les défis pour les chaînes d’approvisionnement.

Lire plus: https://www.blg.com/fr/insights/2020/03/contractual-risks-amid-the-covid-19-outbreak

Alberta

Click to view Provincial Gov Site for updates

Please note important updates:

Alberta implemented public health measures to restrict mass gatherings to protect Albertans’ health and limit the spread of COVID-19.

A gathering is any event or assembling that brings people together in person, in a single room or single space at the same time. At this time, it does not include normal operations of workplaces and businesses (i.e. offices, manufacturing, construction, industrial) not specifically defined by the chief medical officer of health. Where workplace gatherings of 50 or more people in a single space occur (e.g. training events), they must not proceed. Likewise, it does not include airports, shopping malls, retail or grocery stores or other spaces people may be moving in or walking about as part of normal activities of daily living.

Read More: https://www.alberta.ca/restrictions-for-mass-gatherings.aspx#toc-1

British Columbia

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Manitoba

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Construction Deemed an Critical Business

This afternoon, the Province of Manitoba issued a public health order mandating the closure of all non-critical businesses starting April 1 at 12:01 a.m. until April 14.

You can see the full list of businesses that are exempt from the order here, but it appears as though construction is largely considered a critical business and is allowed to continue. Here are the points from the public health order stating that:

Institutional, residential, commercial and industrial maintenance

9. A business that provides support and maintenance services, including urgent repair, to maintain the safety, security, sanitation and essential operation of institutional, commercial, industrial and residential properties, and includes

(a) property management services, including residential snow clearing;

(b) services provided by skilled trades, such as plumbers, electricians and HVAC technicians;

(c) custodial or janitorial services and cleaning services;

(d) fire safety and sprinkler systems installation and monitoring; and

(e) similar services provided by other service providers.

Construction

27. A business engaged in construction work or services in the industrial, commercial, institutional and residential sectors, including demolition services and expanding, renovating, converting or repurposing existing spaces.

28. A business engaged in construction work or services that are required to ensure safe and reliable operations of provincial and municipal infrastructure.

29. A business engaged in construction work or services that supports environmental rehabilitation projects

Link to bulletin: https://news.gov.mb.ca/news/?archive=&item=47217

Note: A new community testing drive-thru site will officially open Wednesday in Winkler at the Winkler Centennial Arena at 600 Park St. Hours are daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. When it opens, it will be Manitoba’s 12th community testing site and fourth drive-thru location. The public is reminded that a referral to these sites is needed and they are not walk-in clinics. Information on locations and hours of operation are available at www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/locations.html.

New Brunswick

Click to view Provincial Gov Site for updates

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Nova Scotia

Click to view Provincial Gov Site for updates

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22 March, the Province of Nova Scotia declared a state of emergency to help contain the spread of COVID-19. The state of emergency will be in effect for 14 days and may be renewed. The emergency order is valid until noon on 5 April 2020

Click for more info: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/#alerts

Newfoundland and Labrador

Click to view Provincial Gov Site for updates

Please note important updates:

Effective March 18, 2020, the Minister of Health and Community Services declared COVID-19 a public health emergency under the Public Health Protection and Promotion Act. The following facilities are ordered to close:

  • Gyms and fitness facilities, including yoga studios, tennis and squash facilities
  • Dance studios
  • Businesses that hold a license under the Liquor Control Act whose primary purpose is the consumption of beer, wine, or spirits
  • Cinemas
  • Arenas
  • Performance spaces
  • Bingo halls
  • Personal services establishments including spas, esthetic services, hair salons, body piercing, tattooing and tanning salons
  • Retail stores, unless those stores provide services essential to life, health or personal safety of individuals and animals. See the Special Measures Order above for details.

Please check this webpage to read more and for updates: https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/

Nunavut

Click to view Provincial Gov Site for updates

Please note important updates:

As of today, there are no known confirmed or presumptive cases of COVID-19 in the territory.

The public health communicable disease team is following approximately 111 persons under investigation. So far, 43 people who were under investigation have been cleared and no longer need isolation.

Starting at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24 strict travel restrictions to Nunavut will be in place. Only residents and critical workers can travel into the territory. Everyone, except critical workers with written permission from the Chief Public Health Officer, must be in a mandatory 14-day isolation period in the south before they can board a plane to come to Nunavut. This includes residents and students.

All public gatherings are now banned, and all playgrounds and municipal parks are now closed.

I want to remind everyone and make it very clear that it is also necessary that anyone who arrived into the territory on or since March 15 needs to self-isolate.

Please know that we are taking this very, very seriously.

Click here for more info: https://gov.nu.ca/executive-and-intergovernmental-affairs/news/covid-19-gn-update-march-23-2020

Prince Edward Island

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Saskatchewan

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Yukon

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