Updates to Building Services during province-wide shutdown

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On Tuesday, January 12, 2021, the Premier of Ontario issued a revised list of workplaces that must temporary close unless listed as an essential business. The recent Ontario government change to the Essential Services Order impacts some of our clients moving forward, specifically with regard to what building inspections will continue and the directive to stop certain types of construction projects. Pursuant to a Regulation made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, effective Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 12:01 a.m., only construction activities and projects which meet the requirements of Section 43 can proceed.

Construction, Section 43 under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act

43. Construction activities or projects and related services, including land surveying and demolition services, that,

(a) are associated with the health care sector or long-term care, including new facilities, expansions, renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for healthcare space;

(b) ensure safe and reliable operations of, or provide new capacity in, provincial infrastructure, including the transit, transportation, resource, energy and justice sectors beyond day-to-day maintenance;

(c) support the operations of, or provide new capacity in, electricity generation, transmission, distribution and storage, natural gas distribution, transmission and storage or in the supply of resources;

(d) support the operations of, or provide new capacity in, schools, colleges, universities, municipal infrastructure or child-care centres within the meaning of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014;

(e) are required for:

(i) the maintenance and operations of petrochemical plants and refineries,
(ii) significant industrial petrochemical projects where preliminary work commenced before January 12, 2021, or
(iii) industrial construction and modifications to existing industrial structures limited solely to work necessary for the production, maintenance or enhancement of personal protective equipment, medical devices such as ventilators and other identified products directly related to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic;

(f) would provide additional capacity in the production, processing, manufacturing or distribution of food, beverages or agricultural products;

(g) were commenced before January 12, 2021 and that would,

(i) provide additional capacity for businesses that provide logistical support / distribution services, warehousing, storage or shipping and delivery services, or
(ii) provide additional capacity in the operation and delivery of Information Technology (IT) services or telecommunications services;

(h) support the operations of broadband internet and cellular technologies and services;

(i) are related to residential construction projects where,

(i) a building permit has been granted for a single family, semi-detached and townhomes,
(ii) the project is a condominium, mixed-use or other residential building, or
(iii) the project involves renovations to residential properties and construction work that was started before January 12, 2021;

(j) prepare a site for an institutional, commercial, industrial or residential development, including any necessary excavation, grading, roads or utilities infrastructure;

(k) are necessary to temporarily close construction sites that have paused, or that are not active, to ensure ongoing public safety;

(l) are funded in whole or in part by the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program;

(m) are,

(i) intended to provide shelter or supp01is for vulnerable persons or affordable housing; and
(ii) being funded in whole or in part by, or are being under taken by,

(A) the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario, 
(B) an agency of the Crown in right of Canada or in right of Ontario,
(C) a municipality,
(D) a service manager as defined the Housing Services Act, 2011, or
(E) a registered charity within the meaning of the Income Tax Act (Canada), or
(F) a not-for-profit corporation.

The City suggests that after you have familiarized yourself with entire regulation affecting construction and with the relevant provincial measures in the Ontario Regulation made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020, Amending O. Reg 82/20 and that you obtain your own legal advice.

Please note, filing of new permit applications is not affected by the above changes as staff are working remotely processing and reviewing all permit applications, but our processing timelines may be affected. Customers are encouraged to apply for their permit when their applications are complete to avoid issuance delays. Should there be questions or comments related to the issuance of permits, please feel free to contact the Building Division at your convenience.

Also, please note that all building permits issued by the City during the duration of this Emergency Order will contain the following caution to permit holders and interested parties:

Notwithstanding that a building permit has been issued under the Building Code Act, it does not constitute approval to construct in contravention of any Ontario law including any Provincial order. You are still obliged to ensure that your business, and any construction conducted under this permit, complies with the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, and all associated regulations and orders, as amended, which can be reviewed on the Government of Ontario's website.

The above information may be amended based on specific direction or clarification provided by the Province of Ontario.

Dean Findlay CBCO, C. Tech
Chief Building Official, Manager Building Services Division
Infrastructure and Planning Services Department

City of Peterborough