COVID-19 Alert: Ontario bans new residential construction sites, while allowing “existing” sites to stay open
The new regulations come into effect at midnight Saturday, April 4
By Steve Payne
Ontario premier Doug Ford announced today that “existing” residential construction sites can remain legally open – for now. But no new residential sites will be permitted to open at this time.
“Any new builds, they are closed down,” Ford said.
The new policy will take effect at midnight tomorrow, Saturday, April 4th.
In addition, Ford announced that “industrial construction,” excluding critical infrastructure (such as hospitals and transportation) will have to shut down.
Construction sites were included when Ford announced on March 23 a list of 74 “essential services” that would be allowed to continue operating during the semi-lockdown of the province during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ford said today that “more than 60” new inspectors would join a blitz to examine existing construction sites to make sure Covid-19 precautions like physical distancing and onsite sanitation facilities were being implemented. Existing sites “will be placed under the highest level of scrutiny possible,” Ford added.
Taking questions from reporters, Ford said the province’s housing shortage justified the continued operation of existing residential job sites. “Nothing would be more dangerous than to have people piled up” in temporary accommodations because they could not move into homes they were expecting to move into, Ford said.