News Article

March 24 COVID-19 Update

March 24, 2020

COVID-19 Update - March 23

During the COVID-19 pandemic we will be providing daily updates to our members with concise, relevant information they need for their businesses, employees and personal health.
For more frequent updates please follow us on Twitter @WCANews.
For past editions of these bulletins please visit the News section on our website.
If you have any questions about the pandemic, please email our COVID-19 hotline at


Are Construction Sites Essential Services?

You probably heard that both Ontario and Quebec are shutting down "all non-essential businesses" while the COVID-19 pandemic continues. This raises a natural question for construction companies and their employees - are we considered "essential"?

Yesterday we got two different answers from two different provinces on that questions. Ontario took a much more permissive approach than Quebec when it came to construction. Quebec will only allow construction work and maintenance on dispatch, security and emergency services and rental equipment, while Ontario seems to be permitting basically all ICI construction work to continue.

You can view a full breakdown of what is and isn't considered an essential business in these provinces in our report here.

So, what does that mean for Manitoba? The province has yet to issue a shut down of non-essential businesses at this time, and while we don't believe that's imminent, it could definitely happen at some point. Should that happen, our hope is that Manitoba's list of essential businesses will be closer to Ontario's than to Quebec's - our position is that construction work should continue to happen so long as proper safety precautions and best practices on site are followed - you can find a list of those best practices from the Construction Safety Association of Manitoba here.

Seeking donations of N95 respirators

Shared Health has reached out to us asking if our member are able to provide any spare N95 respirators. These respirators are key for health care staff to fight the spread of COVID-19 - if you have any to spare, please get in touch with us at and we will coordinate getting them to the front lines.

Update on Government Support Programs

While we were expecting legislation to be passed during today's special sitting of the House of Commons, the session is currently suspended as the government and the opposition continue to debate the proposed legislation.

We'll have updates on this as soon as the legislation passes.

COVID-19 Hotline

We'll be here for our members through every step of this pandemic. If you have any questions or concerns, please email our dedicated COVID-19 hotline at If we don't have the answer you're looking for, we'll use our industry contacts and knowledge to find it for you.