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Ontario's tighter rules allow builders to keep working on condos and other jobs

Last Updated Jan 13, 2021 at 1:32 pm PDT

TORONTO — Ontario’s new COVID-19 emergency measures allow construction to continue on many developments, including condos. 

Residential Construction Council of Ontario president Richard Lyall says the exception is important because the province has not been producing enough housing to meet demand. 

But opposition members of provincial parliament say the government should have acted more quickly on housing policies banning evictions — and that the exemptions are confusing for workers and residents wondering if construction crews can come into their condo buildings while they are told to stay at home.

A detailed list of exceptions for construction companies comes amid strict new measures from Ontario’s provincial government to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus after projections that 1,000 COVID-19 patients could enter intensive care by early February. 

In addition to allowing construction on condos, affordable housing and shelters, and residential and multi-use buildings, the new rules announced yesterday under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act carve out exceptions for construction on certain Crown or municipal projects. 

The provincial government says construction sites will be among the workplaces targeted by upcoming inspections and that the vast majority of construction workers are in line with safety guidance.

The rules also say projects with permits, or construction on internet infrastructure, petrochemical projects, child care, health care, long-term care, transit, energy, mining or justice structures can also continue in some circumstances.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 13, 2021

The Canadian Press