News

  • The SCA advocates to province that construction sites stay open

    We’ve been getting questions from our members about what the ongoing restrictions may mean for the future of construction job sites, and whether construction might be considered “essential” if there is a general order for all “non-essential” businesses to close.
     
    Yesterday, the SCA and Merit Contractors sent a joint letter to Premier Moe and all government leaders in Saskatchewan, re-affirming to them that construction sites can be managed safely and that it is in the best interests of Saskatchewan to keep those sites open as long as possible. We asked the government to provide clarity as to how the restrictions apply to construction.
     
    Clarity is starting to happen in other provinces and in other parts of the world, and the response to date has been inconsistent.
     

    • In British Columbia, the Chief Medical Officer indicated this weekend that gathering restrictions do not apply to construction sites – unless people are confined in one room.

     
    This interpretation seems to be fairly consistent across Canada right now and is – we believe – the current interpretation of Saskatchewan’s governments (although we are clarifying this).
     
    However:
     

    • Quebec indicated today that they would be closing construction job sites, and all “non-essential” workplaces for a three-week period.

    • Ontario is also closing “non-essential” workplaces but hasn’t decided yet if that will apply to construction or not.

     
    While it appears that construction sites in Saskatchewan will not be closed by government order in the immediate future, the situation is fluid and may change. Government has assured the SCA that they will engage with industry prior to that decision being made.
     
    In our letter to the Premier, we made it clear that construction companies and workers are experienced at running safe and healthy sites and that you are able to continue doing so at this time.
     
    We have heard from many of you that you want the ability to keep operating sites as long as you can. We will continue to advocate on your behalf.
     
    Please know that by taking this position as an industry, we are asking for construction companies to be entrusted as guardians of public health on your sites.
     
    This trust we are asking for governments and the public to place in the industry comes with a responsibility to execute construction work safely, and to ensure that our teams do the same.
     
    We must be doing everything possible on sites and in all phases of our work to maximize social distancing, keep people who are sick at home, and follow rigorous cleaning and public health protocols.
     
    Contractors in the Toronto area came under direct and public criticism from Premier Ford today for their failure to meet these expectations. The reputation of our industry, and the health and wellbeing of our people, is at stake.
     
    To support your work in this area, the SCA will continue to provide resources on our website www.scaonline.ca from the SCSA and others to enhance your safety efforts.
     
    If you have any best practices or innovations you’d like to have us share with your peers, please let us know. You can email me anytime at president@scaonline.ca.

    View the letter to the Premier.

    Mark Cooper
    President & CEO, Saskatchewan Construction Association


Associations