Details and clarification from OHBA on O.Reg 10/21: Construction
On Tuesday, January 12, the Government of Ontario implemented a State of Emergency Order and invoked wide-ranging new measures to battle the spread of COVID-19 and protect the province's health care system. The State of Emergency took effect immediately and will last for 14 days, with the option to renew for an additional 14 days with or without modifications.
The associated Stay-at-Home Order took effect on Jan. 14 and will be in place for 28 days. See general information covering all sectors, including construction.
Unlike the Emergency Order from last year, this new order does not suspend provincial timelines related to municipal approvals, permitting, or inspections; however, continued cooperation with local municipalities is necessary and essential during these challenging times.
Based on recent feedback from MMAH on O.Reg 10/21: Construction
RE: Section 43(i): (i) are related to residential construction projects where, (i) a building permit has been granted for a single family, semi-detached and townhomes
Members can construct if the permit was granted before January 13. For all other permits granted, members need to consult with the local building department regarding construction and inspection protocols.
RE: Section 43(i): (ii) the project is a condominium, mixed-use or other residential building
Condominium, mixed-use or other residential building projects may proceed and is not impacted by any permit granted. For further direction on this application of this section on your project, members need to consult with the local building department regarding construction and inspection protocols.
RE: Section 43(i): (iii) the project involves renovations to residential properties and construction work that was started before January 12, 2021
Renovation activities where construction work began on the site/home prior to January 12 can proceed to completion including if permitted construction activities commence after January 11. Completion includes construction activities contracted and required to complete the renovation including painting and finishing work.
Building Department Permitting and Inspections.
Building departments are required to continue to receive and process building applications and provide approvals within the provincial timelines as well as required inspections as per the building code, municipal protocols related to these regulations.
There have been a lot of questions around building maintenance services. Members should refer to Section 35 of the consolidated O.Reg 82/20 which permits the following,
- Maintenance, repair and property management services that manage and maintain the safety, security, sanitation and operation of institutional, commercial, industrial and residential properties and buildings.
Real estate (including pre-sale construction). No open houses - showing a property permitted by appointment only.
Businesses that supply businesses or places that are permitted to open within Ontario, or that supply businesses or services that have been declared essential in a jurisdiction outside of Ontario, with the support, products, supplies, systems, or services, including processing, packaging, warehousing, distribution, delivery, and maintenance necessary to operate.
Enforcement Under the State of Emergency
Members should expect increased compliance inspections as the government enhances its enforcement of COVID-19 safety measures. Enforcement can come through Ministry of Labour or any provincial offences officers including the Ontario provincial police, local police forces, bylaw officers and provincial workplace inspectors to issue tickets to individuals who do not comply with the new health and safety orders as well as their employers if they are not enforcing the new requirements. Please visit MOL and IHSA websites for the most up to date information.
H&S Guidance from MOL
The Ministry of Labour has provided updated guidance for the construction sector on jobsite health and safety measures that members must implement.
Work from Home Except Where Necessary
Under the Stay-at-Home Order, each person responsible for a business or organization that is open shall ensure that any person who performs work for the business or organization conducts their work remotely, with limited exception, for instance, where the nature of their work requires them to be on-site at the workplace.
Tarion has provided an update based on the new State of Emergency and Stay-at-Home order. Tarion has extended the builder repair periods on individual homes under the current restrictions. Please review your builder portal for the specific details on your projects.
Employer Support Contact Details
Employers who have questions about COVID-19 workplace measures can consult the government’s resource page for more specific information. You can also call the provincial toll-free line at 1-888-444-3659.
OHBA Statement on the Emergency Order and Impact on Residential Construction
“We need to pull together. We all want to be safe at home and at work,” said Joe Vaccaro, CEO of OHBA. “With these new restrictions, the Ontario government continues to make public safety the priority. Our industry has a good track record of implementing enhanced protocols under COVID-19. While the new restrictions will slow the delivery of new housing for some projects, case levels have gotten to the point that all sectors and residents must be part of the solution. Our members look forward to a time when they can resume full and normal construction levels and continue to serve the residential construction needs of all Ontarians.”
We are all in this together. We need to keep each other safe. Stay safe and be kind.