Ontario’s provincial government has taken measures to combat the surging third wave of COVID-19. As part of the government’s response, all of Ontario has reverted back into the “Shutdown Zone” of Stage 1 of Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework.
On April 16, 2021, the Registrar filed O. Reg. 292/21 extending the emergency orders in effect under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to May 5, 2021.
Most relevant to the construction industry, on April 17, 2021, the Registrar filed O. Reg. 297/21 amending O. Reg. 82/20 (Rules for Areas in Stage 1) ordering all non-essential workplaces in the construction sector to close effective April 17 at 12:01AM.
For areas in the Shutdown Zone (currently all of Ontario), until a new regulation is filed, only the following construction activities are deemed “essential” and permitted to operate:
43. Construction activities or projects and related services, including land surveying and demolition services, that,
(a) are associated with the health care sector or long-term care, including new facilities, expansions, renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space;
(b) ensure safe and reliable operations of, or provide new capacity in,
(i) municipal infrastructure, or
(ii) provincial infrastructure, including but not limited to, the transit, transportation, resource, energy and justice sectors;
(c) support the operations of, or provide new capacity in, electricity generation, transmission, distribution and storage, natural gas distribution, transmission and storage or in the supply of resources;
(d) support the operations of, or provide new capacity in, schools, colleges, universities or child care centres within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014;
(e) are required for,
(i) the maintenance and operations of petrochemical plants and refineries,
(ii) significant industrial petrochemical projects where preliminary work commenced before April 17, 2021, or
(iii) industrial construction and modifications to existing industrial structures limited solely to work necessary for the production, maintenance or enhancement of personal protective equipment, medical devices such as ventilators and other identified products directly related to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic;
(f) would provide additional capacity in the production, processing, manufacturing or distribution of food, beverages or agricultural products;
(g) were commenced before April 17, 2021 and that would,
(i) provide additional capacity for businesses that provide logistical support, distribution services, warehousing, storage or shipping and delive1y services,
(ii) provide additional capacity in the operation and delivery of Information Technology (IT) services or telecommunications services, or
(iii) provide additional capacity to, or enhance the efficiency or operations of, businesses that extract, manufacture, process and distribute goods, products, equipment and materials;
(h) support the operations of broadband internet and cellular technologies and services;
(i) are residential construction activities or projects and related services;
(j) prepare a site for an institutional, commercial, industrial or residential development, including any necessary excavation, grading, roads or utilities infrastructure;
(k) are necessary to temporarily close construction sites that have paused, or that are not active, to ensure ongoing public safety;
(l) are funded in whole or in part by,
(i) the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario,
(ii) an agency of the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario, or
(iii) a municipality; or
(i) intended to provide shelter or supports for vulnerable persons or affordable housing, and
(ii) being funded in whole or in part by, or are being undertaken by,
(A) the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario,
(B) an agency of the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario,
(C) a municipality,
(D) a service manager as defined the Housing Services Act, 2011,
(E) a registered charity within the meaning of the Income Tax Act (Canada), or
(F) a not-for-profit corporation.
On February 9, 2021, the government loosened the restrictions in place for areas in the Shutdown Zone. On March 29, 2021, the government further loosened restrictions such that all “construction activities or projects and related services that support construction activities or projects, including demolition services” in the Shutdown Zone were permitted to continue. As of 12:01AM on April 17, 2021, the list of permitted construction activities in all of Ontario mirrors the list of permitted construction activities amended on February 9, 2021 for all areas in the Shutdown Zone.
This bulletin provides an update as of April 19, 2021. Glaholt Bowles LLP will continue to monitor any and all developments and provide updates accordingly.
This bulletin does not constitute legal advice. Please consult with counsel if you have any questions related to the content of this bulletin or contact us directly at email@example.com.