Ontario Announces Shut Down of Non-Essential Construction
On April 16, 2021, as part of an announcement of new restrictions intended to stop the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Ontario announced a shutdown of non-essential construction activities. con
The new list of permitted construction activities is found in O. Reg. 297/21 (link), and came into effect at 12:01 a.m. on April 17, 2021. This regulation amends the list of permitted construction activities originally published on January 15, 2021 in O. Reg. 82/20 made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.
The new list in Section 43 of O. Reg. 297/21 broadens the list of permitted construction activities originally published in January to include all “residential construction activities or projects and related services”, and construction activities or projects and related services commenced before April 17, 2021 that would “provide additional capacity to, or enhance the efficiency or operations of, businesses that extract, manufacture, process and distribute goods, products, equipment and materials.”
The complete list of permitted construction activities follows. The Authors of this blog would be pleased to assist with any questions arising from this new non-essential construction shut down.
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 delivery services,
(ii) provide additional capacity in the operation and delivery 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.
McCarthy Tétrault maintains a COVID-19 hub that is updated regularly (link), and has published a blog post on the other restrictions put in place on April 16, 2021 (link).
McCarthy Tétrault’s construction law group is an industry leader with expertise in each major business centre across Canada (link).
This article does not constitute a legal opinion and is intended to offer some practical considerations related to changes in the construction industry. As each case is unique, if you have specific concerns, please do not hesitate to contact one of the authors of this article.