The Canadian Construction Association (CCA) on 26 March issue a statement that compliant construction sites should remain open during the health and economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The CCA reaffirms the industry’s top priority is a commitment to the health, safety and well-being of its workers, families and friends, and the communities they operate in.
“Our position is that compliant sites should be open and those that cannot consistently comply with measures and guidelines of public health authorities should shut down,” says Mary Van Buren, CCA president.
The CCA released its first version of the COVID-19 Standardized Protocols for All Canadian Construction Sites and encourages all construction firms to implement them in their entirety.
According to the CCA, the document “provides best practices and a consistent national approach for employers and employees to follow in order to protect themselves and the public at large and help minimise the spread of the coronavirus so that work can be continued safely. These protocols include measures on prevention, detection, and rapid response based on information and recommendations from respected public health authorities.”
As the situation continues to evolve and new best practices emerge, CCA states it will keep the document up to date, and publish new versions as required. CCA states it also plans to keep an open dialogue with stakeholders to ensure the industry remains proactive to any emerging risks.
Meanwhile, CCA issued letters to Canada’s minister of public services and procurement (PSPC), Anita Anand, and the minister of small business, export promotion and international trade, Mary Ng, calling on the federal government for action and information in support of the construction industry and its workers due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The letter sent to Minister Anand detailed the challenges facing the industry’s workforce and identified the important role infrastructure will play in the recovery of the Canadian economy.
The letter sent to Minister Ng expressed CCA’s request that the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) offered through Export Development Canada (EDC) be available to all Canadian construction companies for all domestic business and without the export criteria.