March 25 Watch these Explainer videos from the National Post.
March 23 Health and Safety-Working On-Site
March 18 Questions and Answers for Members
March 17 Basic Protective Measures
Note: To apply for Employment Insurance benefits related to a coronavirus injury or if you have been quarantined
because of the virus, you must complete the EI sickness benefits application.
Click the link below to access the Employment Insurance website.
On the EI site, scroll down and click Employment Insurance.
Dear #Brothers and #Sisters,
LiUNA Canada has developed a Facebook group ‘LiUNA Updates-Covid 19’
to centralize all updates and ensure it is reaching all of you.
Please click here and JOIN, and SHARE with all your #LiUNA family.
As always, stay AWARE, and stay SAFE.
Note: You must have a Facebook account to log in.
Ontario Extends Business Closures to Stop the Spread of COVID-19
Additional Measures Necessary to Protect the Health and Safety of the People of Ontario
April 3, 2020 2:15 P.M. Office of the Premier
TORONTO — Following the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Ontario government is reducing the list of businesses classified as essential and ordering more workplaces to close. This measure is necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of the people of Ontario, while ensuring that necessary goods and services remain available.
The government is ordering all businesses not covered by the updated Emergency Order to close effective as of Saturday, April 4, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. This closure will be in effect for 14 days, with the possibility of an extension as the situation evolves. Teleworking, online commerce and other innovative ways of working remotely are permitted at all times and are strongly encouraged for all businesses. All supply chains necessary for the production of vital food and healthcare supplies are being protected and remain intact.
The updated essential businesses list can be found here.
“We are facing a critical moment in the fight against COVID-19 and we must do everything in our power to keep everyone safe and healthy and prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed,” said Premier Ford. “Everyone must do their part to stop the spread and flatten the curve. If you are not an essential business, you need to close your doors, work from home if possible and play a role to help contain this outbreak. This is a matter of life and death.”
As a temporary measure the Ontario government has revised the list of essential businesses. The updated list will direct additional businesses to close and restricts specified businesses to providing services by alternate methods such as curb side pick up and delivery, except in exceptional circumstances. This includes stores that sell hardware products, vehicle parts and supplies, pet and animal supplies, office supplies and computer products and repairs and safety supplies.
“We have now reached a critical time in our fight against COVID-19.” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health “Every step taken by the province and every effort made by each of us to avoid close contact with others are the key to our success as a province to stop the spread of this virus.”
Only critical construction projects will continue, including industrial projects such as refineries and petrochemical plants and infrastructure projects such as new hospitals, roads and bridges. New starts in residential projects will stop, while residential construction that is near completion will continue. Business-owners with questions concerning their essential business status are encouraged to call the Stop the Spread hotline at 1-888-444-3659. The hotline is available from 8:30 a.m.― 9:00 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8:30 a.m.— 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
“We recognize the toll this outbreak is taking on business owners and workers,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Ontario businesses are top of mind during this unprecedented time. We know that the only way to ensure the health of our businesses and our economy is to ensure the health of all Ontarians.”
The government is implementing additional measures to protect frontline workers in essential businesses by adding more than 60 special consultants and officers and doubling the number of phone agents at its Health and Safety Call Centre to 50 to make it easier for workers to report safety concerns. Workers worried their workplaces are unsafe can phone 1-877-202-0008 to speak with an agent.
“If you’re a worker on the frontlines of this outbreak, you should know we’re doing everything in our power to keep you safe at work,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “We’re beefing up our inspectors and making it easier for you to report your concerns. We’re working around the clock.”
- Everyone in Ontario should stay home unless absolutely necessary and practice physical distancing to reduce their exposure to other people. Avoid close contact (within 2 metres) with people outside of your immediate families.
- If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate and then use Ontario’s Self-Assessment Tool to see if you need to seek further care.
- Take these everyday steps to reduce exposure to the virus and protect your health: wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer; sneeze and cough into your sleeve; avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth; avoid contact with people who are sick; and stay home if you are sick.
- Learn more about these temporary measures and see a list of the essential services.
- See how your organization can help fight COVID-19.
- Learn more about Ontario’s Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19.
- Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.
Following advice from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, on April 3, 2020, Ontario updated the list of essential businesses that can remain open. The restrictions are aimed at further reducing contact between people and stopping the spread of COVID-19.
By 11:59 p.m. Saturday, April 4, 2020, businesses that are not identified on this list must close their physical locations.
For the purposes of this order, businesses include any for-profit, non-profit or other entity providing the goods and services described herein.
This does not preclude the provision of work and services by entities not on this list either online, by telephone or by mail/delivery. This also does not preclude the operation or delivery of services of any publicly funded agency or organization that delivers or supports government operations and services, including operations and services of the health care sector.
Teleworking and online commerce are permitted at all times for all businesses.
Businesses that supply other essential businesses or essential services within Ontario, or that supply businesses or services that have been declared essential in a jurisdiction outside of Ontario, with the support, products, supplies, systems, or services, including processing, packaging, warehousing, distribution, delivery, and maintenance necessary to operate.
Businesses that primarily sell food, beverages and consumer products necessary to maintain households and businesses including:
Supermarkets and grocery stores.
Discount and big box retailers selling groceries.
Restaurants (take-out, drive-through and delivery service only).
Beer and wine and liquor stores.
Gas stations and other fuel suppliers.
Laundromats and drycleaners.
Security services for residences, businesses and other properties.
Vehicle and equipment repair and essential maintenance and vehicle and equipment rental services.
Courier, postal, shipping, moving and delivery services.
Funeral and related services.
Staffing services including providing temporary help.
Veterinary services (urgent care only) and other businesses that provide for the health and welfare of animals, including farms, boarding kennels, stables, animal shelters, zoos, aquariums and research facilities.
Home child care services of up to six children as permitted under the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014, and child care centres for essential workers authorized to operate in accordance with Ontario Regulation 51/20 (Order Under Subsection 7.0.2 (4) of the Act – Closure of Establishments) made under the Act.
Hotels, motels, other shared rental accommodation including student residences, except for seasonal campgrounds and any pools, fitness centres, meeting rooms and other recreational facilities that may be part of the operations of these businesses.
Cheque cashing services.
Services to the public that are restricted to alternative methods of sale
Stores that sell any of the following items and provide them to the customer only through an alternative method of sale such as curb side pick-up or delivery, except in exceptional circumstances:
- Hardware products.
- Vehicle parts and supplies.
Pet and animal supplies.
Office supplies and computer products including computer repair.
Businesses that provide the following financial services:
- Capital markets and related securities trading and advisory services.
- Banking/credit union activities including credit intermediation.
- Land registration services.
- Real estate agent services.
- Pension and benefits payment services.
- Financial services including payroll and payment processing and accounting and tax services.
Telecommunications and IT infrastructure/service providers
Information Technology (IT) services, including online services, software products and the facilities necessary for their operation and delivery.
Telecommunications providers and services (phone, internet, radio, cell phones etc.) and facilities necessary for their operation and delivery.
Newspapers, radio and television broadcasting.
Businesses and facilities that provide transportation services, including,
- transportation services provided by air, water, road, and rail, including taxis and other private transportation providers, and
support services for transportation services, including,
- logistical support, distribution services, warehousing and storage, truck stops and tow operators,
- services that support the operations and safety of transportation systems including maintenance and repairs, and
- marinas, but only to the extent that the marina is necessary to enable individuals to access their primary place of residence.
Businesses that provide and support online retail, including by providing warehousing, storage and distribution of goods that are ordered online.
Businesses that extract, manufacture, process and distribute goods, products, equipment and materials, including businesses that manufacture inputs to other manufacturers, (e.g. primary metal/ steel, blow molding, component manufacturers, chemicals, etc. that feed the end-product manufacturer), regardless of whether those other manufacturers are inside or outside of Ontario, together with businesses that support and facilitate the movement of goods within integrated North American and global supply chains.
Agriculture and food production
Businesses that produce food and beverages, and agricultural products including plants, including by farming, harvesting, aquaculture, hunting and fishing.
Businesses that process, manufacture or distribute food, beverages, crops, agricultural products, animal products and by-products.
Businesses that support the food or agricultural products supply chains and the health and safety of food, animals and plants.
- Construction projects and services associated with the healthcare sector, including new facilities, expansions, renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space.
- Construction projects and services required to ensure safe and reliable operations of, or to provide new capacity in, critical provincial infrastructure, including transit, transportation, energy and justice sectors beyond the day-to-day maintenance.
Critical industrial construction activities required for,
- the maintenance and operations of petrochemical plants and refineries,
- significant industrial petrochemical projects where preliminary work has already commenced,
- industrial construction and modifications to existing industrial structures limited solely to work necessary for the production, maintenance, and/or enhancement of Personal Protective Equipment, medical devices (such as ventilators), and other identified products directly related to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Residential construction projects where,
- a footing permit has been granted for single family, semi-detached and townhomes
- an above grade structural permit has been granted for condominiums, mixed use and other buildings, or
- the project involves renovations to residential properties and construction work was started before April 4, 2020.
Construction and maintenance activities necessary to temporarily close construction sites that have paused or are not active and to ensure ongoing public safety.
Resources and energy
Businesses that provide and ensure the domestic and global continuity of supply of resources, including mining, forestry, aggregates, petroleum, petroleum by-products and chemicals.
Electricity generation, transmission, distribution and storage and natural gas distribution, transmission and storage.
Businesses that deliver or support the delivery of services including:
- Sewage treatment and disposal.
Collecting, transporting, storing, processing, disposing or recycling of any type of waste.
Potable drinking water.
Critical infrastructure repair and maintenance including roads, dams, bridges etc.
Environmental rehabilitation, management and monitoring, and spill clean up and response.
Administrative authorities that regulate and inspect businesses.
Professional and social services that support the legal and justice system.
Government services including but not limited to policing and law enforcement, fire and emergency services, paramedics, coroner and pathology services, corrections and court services, licences and permits.
Health care and social services
Organizations and providers that deliver home care services or personal support services to seniors and persons with disabilities.
Businesses that sell, rent or repair assistive/mobility/medical devices, aids and/or supplies.
Regulated health professionals (urgent care only) including dentists, optometrists, chiropractic services, ophthalmologists, physical and occupational therapists and podiatrists.
Organizations that provide health care including retirement homes, hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, independent health facilities and mental health and addictions counselling supports.
Laboratories and specimen collection centres.
Manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers of pharmaceutical products and medical supplies, including medications, medical isotopes, vaccines and antivirals, medical devices and medical supplies.
Manufacturers, distributors and businesses that provide logistical support of or for products and/or services that support the delivery of health care in all locations.
Not-for-profit organizations that provide critical personal support services in home or residential services for individuals with physical disabilities.
Not-for profit organizations that support the provision of food, shelter, safety or protection, and/or social services and other necessities of life to economically disadvantaged and other vulnerable individuals.
Requirements that apply to businesses
The person responsible for a place of business that continues to operate shall ensure that the business operates in accordance with all applicable laws, including the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the regulations made under it.
The person responsible for a place of business that continues to operate shall operate the business in compliance with the advice, recommendations and instructions of public health officials, including any advice, recommendations or instructions on physical distancing, cleaning or disinfecting.
Restricting access to businesses and providing alternative methods of sale
Subject to subsection (2), the person responsible for a place of business that continues to operate and that engages in retail sales to the public, except for pharmacies and businesses that primarily sell food and beverages at retail, shall, to the fullest extent possible, restrict public access to the place of business by providing alternative methods of sale such as curb side pick-up or delivery.
- The person responsible for a place of business described in paragraph 15 of Schedule 2 shall restrict public access to the place of business and shall provide all items to the public using an alternative method of sale such as curb side pick-up or delivery, except in exceptional circumstances.
Short term rentals
Every person who provides short term rentals in rental accommodations shall ensure that any rentals booked after April 4, 2020 are only provided to individuals who are in need of housing during the emergency period.
Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of hotels, motels and student residences.
Open houses prohibited
Every person who is responsible for a business that provides real estate agent services shall ensure that the business does not host, provide or support any open house events.
Ontario Stepping Up Measures to Limit the Spread of COVID-19 on Construction Sites
March 29, 2020 1:00 P.M.
Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development
TORONTO — Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, issued the following statement today regarding health and safety on construction sites:
“The health and safety of construction workers is a top priority for our government. With the COVID-19 situation changing day by day, we are working to ensure that workers have the tools they need to help keep job sites safe. We must do everything possible to fight the spread of this disease.
Today, Ontario’s Chief Prevention Officer announced updated guidance to help employers better understand their responsibilities and what is needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the job site.
The update follows an initial guidance document circulated on March 20, 2020, and addresses sector topics including:
- providing better on-site sanitation, including a focus on high-touch areas like site trailers, door handles and hoists
- communicating roles, responsibilities, and health & safety policies, by, for example, posting site sanitization schedules and work schedules
- enabling greater distances between workers by staggering shifts, restricting site numbers and limiting elevator usage
- protecting public health by tracking and monitoring workers
Construction Site Health and Safety Practices During COVID-19
This is not a legal document and employers are advised to seek legal advice.
Employers and constructors have obligations to protect workers from hazards in the workplace as set out in the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and its regulations and the directives coming from the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
Workers should raise any concerns to their:
- joint health and safety committee
- health and safety representative
This will help ensure the employer has taken all reasonable precautions.
Ontario is currently in the midst of a global pandemic. While the COVID-19 situation is changing rapidly, the legislation and regulations used to govern Ontario’s workplaces are not.
Under Ontario law, employers have the duty to keep workers and work sites safe and free of hazards. Workers have the right to refuse unsafe work. If health and safety concerns are not resolved internally, a worker can seek enforcement by filing a complaint with the ministry’s Health and Safety Contact Centre at 1-877-202-0008. Failure of the employer or constructor to comply with the OHSA and its regulations could result in a stop-work order upon inspection by the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.
On-site best practices
The health and safety of workers is a top concern amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, all parties must place an increased focus on health and safety in order to keep job sites open.
All measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 should be done in compliance with requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and associated regulations and public health directives issued by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
In addition, below are a set of resources, tips and best practices to help employers prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Protecting yourself and your co-workers
Coronaviruses are spread through close contact, including at work. Here are some helpful tips to help prevent the spread of germs:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Sneeze and cough into your sleeve.
- If you use a tissue, discard immediately and wash your hands afterward.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Avoid high-touch areas, where possible, or ensure you clean your hands after.
- Where possible, wear gloves when interacting with high-touch areas. Do not touch your face with gloved hands. Take care when removing gloves. Ensure you wash your hands after removing them.
- Wash your clothes as soon as you get home.
- If you are ill: notify your supervisor immediately, complete the self-assessment and follow the instructions you get.
The symptoms of COVID-19 are like many other illnesses, including the cold and flu. At this time, it is recommended that any worker who has any symptoms related to cold, flu or COVID-19 should be sent home.
In addition, employers should advise these workers to complete the online self-assessment or call either:
- Telehealth: 1-866-797-0000
- their primary care provider (for example, family physician)
Please note that additional resources, policies and procedures are being developed to provide additional support in this area.
Getting information on infection prevention and control
Employers can contact local public health units for questions on workplace infection prevention and control related to COVID-19 infections. Please note additional resources, policies and procedures are being developed to provide additional support in this area.
Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development reporting requirements
Employers must report all known positive test results for COVID-19, to:
- the ministry (in writing) within four days
- the joint health and safety representative
- a trade union (if applicable)
It is important that all parties in a workplace communicate their roles and responsibilities. Employers will need to ensure health and safety policies are updated and posted for all employees to see. Using industry resources, including this one and those produced by the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association (IHSA), will improve on-site understanding.
Post your policies
All employers/constructors need to post and communicate COVID-19 policies to employees and contractors or trades.
These policies should cover how the site will operate, including, but not limited to:
- the sanitization of sites
- how employees and contractors report illnesses
- how to ensure physical distancing
- how work will be scheduled
Physical distancing (two metres)
As advised by the Chief Medical Officer, public health officials, and outlined throughout government communications, physical distancing is required to control the spread of COVID-19.
In order to ensure physical distancing on site, employers should consider:
- staggering start times
- staggering breaks
- staggering lunches
- restricting the number of people on-site and where they are assigned to work
- controlling site movement (by limiting the potential for workers to gather, including personnel in material hoists and site trailers)
- limiting the number of people who use elevators and hoists at one time
- holding meetings in an outside or large space to enable physical distancing
- limiting unnecessary on-site contact between workers, and between workers and outside service providers, and encourage physical distancing in these areas (for example, by removing coffee trucks from site)
Coronaviruses are spread person to person through close contact, including at work. While employers always have an obligation to maintain clean worksites, that obligation is under sharper focus during an outbreak like the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Employers should focus on:
- access to soap and water (ways to properly clean hands) or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- washroom facilities
- sanitizing commonly touched surfaces or areas (hoists, site trailers, door handles, equipment, residential units)
- avoiding the sharing of hand tools and power tools. If sharing is necessary, enable sanitization of shared equipment.
- posting signage on hygiene in English and the majority workplace language so everyone can understand how to do their part
Adjust on-site and production schedules
Physical distancing will result in lower staffing on job sites. In order to keep sites open, employers will need to adjust production schedules as the impacts of physical distancing become clear. Owners and trades will need to collaborate to ensure there is a clear understanding of how production will be impacted.
Schedules should consider:
- limiting number of workers to critical number by staggering work schedules
- sanitation of sites and workspaces
- site planning to facilitate appropriate physical distancing (two metres) between workers during any particular shift
- work-site mobility and transportation, including hoist operations
Track and monitor your workforce
Due to the latency period of COVID-19, it is important to track where employees have worked. If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, the local public health unit will ask employers to provide information on where the employee worked as well as the contact information of any other employee who may have been exposed. Employers will track information and Public Health Units will respond.
Under Ontario law, employers must take every reasonable precaution to keep workers safe. Workers have the right to refuse unsafe work. If health and safety concerns are not resolved internally, a worker can seek enforcement by filing a complaint with the ministry’s Health and Safety Contact Centre at 1-877-202-0008.
Ministry inspectors are inspecting job sites today and every day. Employers and constructors should know: failure to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations could result in a stop work order.
Keeping job sites open during the current pandemic requires a heightened focus on health and safety.
We all have a role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Important Links To Keep You Informed
Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
Government of Ontario
World Health Organization
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety
Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)
Mortgage and Loan Assistance
Canada’s major banks are advising their customers that they could be eligible for special measures on different products if they are directly affected by the current situation and may have difficulty making their payments. These measures may include payment deferrals of up to six months on mortgages, for example, or longer amortization periods. Special loans to cover living expenses may also be offered. These special measures apply on a case-by-case basis, depending on personal situation.
To learn more, click on the bank links below:
Basic protective measures against the new corona virus
Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority. Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others. Take care of your health and protect others by doing the following:
Wash your hands frequently
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
Maintain social distancing
Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
Practice respiratory hygiene
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider
Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.
Protection measures for persons who are in or have recently visited (past 14 days) areas where COVID-19 is spreading
Follow the guidance outlined above.
- Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover.
Why? Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.
- If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Call in advance and tell your provider of any recent travel or contact with travelers.
Why? Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also help to prevent possible spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.