COVID-19 Industry Update May 8, 2020

Provincial Update

Premier Announces Below-Grade Construction can Proceed

On Wednesday, Premier Ford announced that the Province is “expanding essential construction to include demolition work, related to essential construction projects and multi-unit residential projects, such as condos and apartments. For these buildings, below grade work will be permitted, and existing above grade projects can continue, so we can keep adding more housing and creating more jobs on the path to economic recovery.”

The WE HBA and OHBA welcome the Government of Ontario’s decision to allow the resumption of below-grade construction under the COVID-19 Emergency Orders. Each step that is taken toward returning to normal construction activity allows the industry to meet the housing needs of the Hamilton and Halton Region, and Ontario. 

This week’s decision allows for the resumption of below-grade construction where permits are in place. Below-grade construction is construction activity that occurs below ground level to put in place the foundation and systems that support a high-rise building. This includes excavation, temporary shoring, pilings, servicing as required, concrete forming, reinforcing and pouring, and many other tasks. 

A safe working environment is possible during below-grade construction by limiting the number of trades on the work site and by practicing physical distancing. As with previous expansions to the emergency orders for construction, all work must be carried out in compliance with the Ministry of Labour’s Guidelines for Construction Site Health and Safety during COVID-19. The industry supports the closing of any site that does not meet or exceed these requirements.

Also announced this week, hardware stores and safety supply stores will be permitted to open for in-store payment and purchases as soon as 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 9. 


CHBA Update


CHBA Holds First Virtual Annual Meeting of Members

Last week, the CHBA held its first virtual AMM, convening its Board of Directors, local HBA representatives, and other leading members from across the country. The meeting was originally scheduled as part of CHBA’s Home Building Week in Canada meetings and conference, but was successfully executed online instead given current circumstances.

CHBA would like to thank outgoing President Stefanie Coleman for all her hard work over the past year and is pleased to confirm CHBA’s new President John Meinen and the 2020-21 Board of Directors. Thanks also to Past President Nathan Stone who now formally steps down from the Executive Committee after many years of dedicated service. Follow this link for additional CHBA National Updates.

Since March, CHBA has been keeping members informed on COVID-19 developments via regular emails and a dedicated COVID-19 section on its website. It includes up-to-date key federal government measures that apply to businesses, advocacy successes by CHBA, and information on how CHBA is continuing to lobby to ensure that relief and recovery measures are applicable to our industry, including the latest additional recommendations on qualification criteria for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).

With so much economic uncertainly still ahead, the delayed 2020 Federal Budget release date is yet to be determined, but CHBA has provided a series of recommendations to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance as part of their study on the government’s response to the pandemic, to help inform the government’s current measures and start the discussions on the longer-term plan. CHBA is ramping up its engagement on recovery recommendations as the government starts looking at opening up the economy and bolstering a strong economic recovery.


OHBA Update

Regional OHBA Conference Call

The OHBA is continuing to organize weekly regional conference calls to provide a general COVID-19 update based on regional groups.

The Southwest HBA & Central HBA “zoom” meetings will be held together this coming Monday May 11th at 10:00 AM. The short half hour meeting will be open to any interested members from the local

HBA’s in the regional groupings of the Central HBAs and Southwest HBAs. WE HBA encourages our members to join in and stay up to date!

Please contact WE HBA Manager of Planning & Government Relations Kirstin Jensen for the Zoom call details. 


OHBA & RBC Market Review

On Wednesday, OHBA in partnership with RBC reviewed the economic impacts of COVID-19 to builders, consumers and the construction business, and how RBC is assisting in alleviating the stress and pressures of these changing times.

If you missed out, the recording can be viewed here now!

Recording password: TuK6yxpK

Duration: 54 min 35 sec 

The market update included a welcome and introduction from Joe Vaccaro of the OHBA; Robert Hogue – RBC Senior Economist with a Market Update; Stella Partipilo – RBC Regional Vice President Mortgage Specialist, Ontario North East with an RBC Update; and Angella Tsangarakis provided a Q & A session with all the panelists.

If you’d like to contact an RBC Builder Development representative, please see the following:

Ontario North & East:

      Cathy Corner, Manager, Builder Development       Cell: 613-614-2268

South Western Ontario:

      Angella Tsangarakis, Manager, Builder Development Cell: 289-439-7077

Greater Toronto Region:

      Reza Shohreh / Greg Waters, Managers, Builder Development       Cell: 647-967-9815       Cell: 416-230-4302


EnerQuality Education Update

Better Built Homes Workshop Series | Free for Ontario Home Builders

EnerQuality’s 2020 training will help you build better, tighter, healthier and more comfortable and homes

through their workshop series delivered for the first time online, and at a dramatically reduced price. Enbridge Gas has made it possible for Ontario home building professionals to register for these high performance new construction workshops at no cost. The Team Builder promotion offers every three paid registrants from your organization one registration at no charge! All other participants will receive up to 95% off of the original price.

Register today for one or more of these acclaimed workshops!

Register Here to get your spot in the Better Built Homes Workshop Series! Spaces are limited.

Updates will be made on the EnerQuality social channels (follow #EQtraining) and in their e-newsletter.