COVID-19 Industry Update April 8, 2020

Provincial Update

Extended Construction Site Hours

Today, Premier Doug Ford, joined by Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, Monte McNaughton, announced new provincial regulations that extends construction work hours from 6 AM to 10 PM. Today’s announcement will continue to improve the management of sites for enhanced health and safety.

As a result, the municipal noise by-laws across Ontario are suspended. Essential construction workplaces on the essential workplaces list – like residential – can now work from 6 AM to 10 PM. New regulation O. Reg. 131/20: Noise By-laws in Connection with Construction can be found here.

WE HBA and OHBA continues to maintain support for last week’s announcement by the provincial government to restrict construction to only active sites on the essential businesses list. This measure will reduce activity in the sector and enhance COVID-19 prevention measures, while enabling the completion of new homes and renovations that are moving towards completion. Read the official press release by the WE HBA on our blog here.

As a Reminder:

On March 29th, the Ministry of Labour released a guide for enhanced Health and Safety on construction sites during COVID-19. The Ministry is actively inspecting sites, issuing orders and shutting sites down for not meeting the enhanced health and safety standards. OHBA has also developed template signage for members to use on sites as well as employer & employee information sheets to help with tracking individuals coming onto site, as per MOL guidelines.

OHBA additionally developed and distributed a “best practices” guidance document to help members make immediate improvements to health, safety and sanitation on job sites. This was followed up with a health and safety information package to give more guidance and resources to employers to help them meet MOL guidelines.


Insurance Board of Canada Update

Insurers Reducing Insurance Costs for Canadians |

IBC Member Companies Offer Substantial Consumer Relief Measures

Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) member companies are offering substantial consumer relief measures to assist Canadians in coping with the financial impacts of COVID-19. For instance, IBC member companies are offering reductions in auto insurance premiums if driving habits have changed significantly to reflect this reduced risk. The IBC expects this could result in $600 million in savings to consumers. The reductions will continue for the next 90 days.

In addition to adjusting premiums for drivers, IBC member companies have also committed to the following measures to help Canadians, which will also apply for the next 90 days:

  • Explore flexible payment options for consumers who are in a vulnerable position or facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19;
  • Waive the NSF fees they would have charged if you have insufficient funds to cover premiums; members remain responsible for any fees your bank may charge you; and
  • If you are temporarily using your car or home differently (for example, you may be using your car to commute to work instead of taking public transit, or you may be working from home), this will not affect your premium or your ability to make a claim.

Insurers have supported Canadians and businesses who are most adversely affected by honouring requests to defer premiums, and are continually working with small businesses and commercial clients to help manage costs. Read the full announcement by the IBC here.


Burlington Update

Interim Property Tax Relief

Yesterday, Burlington City Council unanimously approved relief of penalty and interest for property taxes in the months of April and May 2020 and relief of the administration charge for any returned payments during that time.

Both the business community and homeowners have expressed concerns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic impact. The City currently has one property tax installment date remaining for interim billing on April 21. The temporary property tax relief will allow businesses and homeowners to make their April 21 installment by June 30 without incurring late payment charges.

The temporary changes being recommended would mean that for the months of April and May 2020:

  • No penalty will be charged for the April 21 installment for all property owners;
  • No month-end interest will be charged for all property owners in April and May;
  • No returned payment admin fee will be charged by the City for any returned tax payments (i.e. insufficient funds, stop payment); and
  • The next tax payment is not due until June 30.

More information on the property tax relief can be found here.


Webinar Updates


WE HBA Presents Webinar with 4 Level Coach

10 Strategies for Renovators and Trades to not just Survive but Thrive through COVID-19

THURSDAY APRIL 16 | 2:00 PM-3:00 PM

Registration details coming soon!