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Province halts most construction projects, shuts down cannabis shops

'Lives are on the line and we must take this action now,' says premier, as province announces revised list of essential businesses

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced today the closure of 30 more types of workplaces in an effort to further flatten the curve of the COVID-19 virus.

During a news conference Friday afternoon, Ford addressed additional restrictions to operational businesses. 

“Lives are on the line and we must take this action now. Effective Saturday, April 4 at 11:59 p.m., we will be directing additional workspaces to close,” the premier said. “All industrial construction, except critical industrial projects, will stop. Only necessary infrastructure projects like hospitals and transportation will continue.”

The Simcoe County Home Builders Association (SCHBA) and the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) issued a statement supporting the provincial government’s announcement to restrict construction to only active sites on the essential businesses list.  

SCHBA executive officer Sandy Tuckey said the organization is on board with the premier.

“The Simcoe County Home Builders Association has been focused on the health and safety of everyone on job sites by sharing information with our members,” Tuckey said.

“Following the recent release by the Ministry of Labour of new health and safety guidelines for construction sites during COVID-19, members immediately went to work to improve site conditions including additional requirements for sanitization, physical distancing, illness reporting and limiting the number of workers on individual sites," she added. 

The government also announced increased inspections, which both the local and provincial builders associations say they fully support. 

Another change to the essential list is cannabis retail stores. Along with the other now non-essential businesses, non-government-run cannabis stores will be closed for 14 days.

After Saturday, people can still get their recreational cannabis from the online Ontario Cannabis Store. 

The revised list of essential business can be found here.




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