News Article

March 30 COVID-19 Update

March 30, 2020

COVID-19 Update - March 30

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 a list of industry resources, government programs, FAQs and more, visit our dedicated COVD-19 website at
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


Construction Deemed a Critical Business

This afternoon, the Province of Manitoba issued a public health order mandating the closure of all non-critical businesses starting April 1 at 12:01 a.m. until April 14.

You can see the full list of businesses that are exempt from the order here, but it appears as though construction is largely considered a critical business and is allowed to continue. Here are the points from the public health order stating that:

Institutional, residential, commercial and industrial maintenance

9. A business that provides support and maintenance services, including urgent repair, to maintain the safety, security, sanitation and essential operation of institutional, commercial, industrial and residential properties, and includes

(a) property management services, including residential snow clearing;

(b) services provided by skilled trades, such as plumbers, electricians and HVAC technicians;

(c) custodial or janitorial services and cleaning services;

(d) fire safety and sprinkler systems installation and monitoring; and

(e) similar services provided by other service providers.


27. A business engaged in construction work or services in the industrial, commercial, institutional and residential sectors, including demolition services and expanding, renovating, converting or repurposing existing spaces.

28. A business engaged in construction work or services that are required to ensure safe and reliable operations of provincial and municipal infrastructure.

29. A business engaged in construction work or services that supports environmental rehabilitation projects


Federal wage subsidy includes businesses of all sizes

Prime Minster Justin Trudeau announced new details surrounding his government's Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program this morning, providing some clarity on which businesses are eligible. Here's what we know so far:

To support businesses that are facing revenue losses and to help prevent lay-offs, the government is proposing to provide eligible employers a wage subsidy to keep employees on the payroll during this pandemic. 

  • All businesses, regardless of size, that have lost 30% of their revenue are eligible

  • The subsidy will cover 75% of the first $58,700 of a employees salaries

  • This gives up to $847 a week per employee
  • The subsidy is back-dated to March 15
  • Non-profit organizations and charities do qualify for this

  • The assessment of the 30% revenue drop will happen after the fact. If the drop wasn’t that high, the company will need to repay the subsidy

  • The subsidy will come in the form of a direct payment to the company, who then pays employees

The Prime Minister was adamant that every dollar of this benefit should go to workers, and also mentioned that businesses should make every effort to top up the final 25% of wages and recall any workers they have laid-off already.

More details on this, including the application process, are expected tomorrow morning.

Site Signage

The Construction Safety Association of Manitoba has compiled some useful signage, including cough etiquette, hand hygiene and physical distancing. You can find them on their website here, just navigate to the signage section.