TORONTO – The Ontario Construction Consortium (OCC) is calling on the provincial government to reopen construction when the present stay-at-home order expires on May 20th.
Much of the province’s construction industry has been shut down as part of a package of measures to control the spread of COVID 19. But the construction sector has one of the best safety records of any industry and is not contributing to the spread of the virus, according to OCC Phil Gillies.
‘Construction has been in and out of various restrictions for over a year now, both regionally and across the province’, says Gillies. ‘But a recent snapshot of 10,000 Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) claims related to COVID-19 since the pandemic began showed that fewer than 200 of those cases originated in the construction industry. Construction has probably the best health and safety record during the pandemic of any sector in the economy.’
Gillies added, “Construction contractors have gone to great expense providing personal protective equipment, improved washroom facilities and running water on sites. Contractors and workers have gone to extraordinary lengths to work safely.”
“The construction industry contributed 8% of Canada’s GDP and employed more than 1.2 million people in 2019. It is essential that the government do everything it can to support this vital segment of the economy,” Gillies said. “That begins with allowing all construction to resume as soon as possible.”