DURHAM REGION HOMEBUILDERS' ASSOCIATION
While many workplaces remain closed to due Ontario's mandatory shutdowns, some essential workplaces are grappling with ensuring sufficient employee attendance to meet their businesses' operational needs.
Generally, while an employer cannot seek a medical certificate to confirm that an employee is ill or exhibiting COVID-19 related symptoms, an employer may require an employee who takes declared emergency leave or infectious disease emergency leave to provide evidence reasonable in the circumstances to substantiate the leave. Further, a preference to be placed on lay-off to enable access to the CERB or other benefits is not a valid reason to refuse work, absent special circumstances that engage human rights considerations. In many cases, employees without special needs may be expected to abide by the employer's regular attendance policies and will not be entitled to refuse work unless they have engaged in a valid work refusal under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.
In view of the multiple competing considerations arising in the circumstances, attendance issues must be addressed on a case-by-case basis. If your essential workplace is facing attendance management issues, you are encourage to contact Templeman LLP for advice specific to your workforce.
Follow @LlpTempleman for daily updates and information.
To OHBA Renovator Members,
It has been said many times already, but to say it again, we are facing unprecedented times. I know personally how hard the renovation sector has been hit by the COVID-19 State of Emergency as many of our existing projects have been postponed by homeowners.
Pioneer Craftsman has been in business for over 65 years. We have survived the 1990 recession, survived the 2008-2009 financial crisis, and we are preparing to survive this current COVID-19 State of Emergency.
Through OHBA, we are reaching our to the renovator membership to focus in on renovator and trade contractor specific issues and potential initiatives that can be presented to the provincial government.
Through the OHBA Renovators' Council, we will be hosting a Zoom Renovator Roundtable on Thursday, April 23, at 2 p.m. to discuss the current challenges and initiatives we will need from the government to help support us during this time and into the recovery phase.
As always, be safe, practice social distancing, and we are all in this together.
Chair of the OHBA Renovators' Council
President of Pioneer Craftsman
Past-President of WRHBA
DRHBA would like to thank all of its builder members that took time out of their busy schedules to calculate how the Community Benefits Charge (CBC) could potentially impact their business, and to write a letter to the Ministry telling them how this charge will impact affordability.
The Durham Region Home Builders' Association also sent in a letter expressing our concerns that the charge could potentially add tens of thousands of dollars to the cost of a home in Durham Region.
The Ontario Home Builders' Association, whose staff have really led the charge on advocacy on this issue, also submitted a letter to the province.
We know that our members' letters will be read and they will make a difference. There is still more work to be done, but together we can help make housing in Durham Region more affordable.
To help builders comply with health & safety guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic, Reliance is offering wash station tanks at cost.
Click here for technical specs
Click here for representative information
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today that applications for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) will be open on April 27.
The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is a program designed to help employers that have been impacted by the pandemic and to help Canadians stay employed.
The subsidy could cover up to 75% of an employee's wages (to a maximum of $847 per week). Employers who have seen a drop in gross revenue of at least 15% in March and 30% in April and May are eligible for the subsidy - regardless of the size of the business. The program is available for 12 weeks, from March 15 to June 6, 2020.
The federal government also has an online calculator is available to help employers determine how much their subsidy may be. You can also determine if your company is eligible, which employees are eligible and how to apply on April 27.
Click here for the calculator and eligibility information
The Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board (KPRDSB) and the Peterborough Victoria Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board (PVNCCDSB) boards were reviewing their bylaws to be renewed in June because their bylaws were expiring at the end of June. However, with the passing of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Protection Act last week, the boards now have the opportunity to extend their bylaws for up to six months after the termination of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
DRHBA has been in touch with Watson & Associates, the consultant retained by the boards, and they have told us that the school boards are going to extend their existing bylaws until at least September, and there will be no public meetings or public engagement at this time.
View/Download the Background Study
Today Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the new federal government assistance program, Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program. While full details have not yet been released, Trudeau said that this program will provide support for small businesses to meet rent dues and that the federal government will be collaborating with the provinces to set it up. The support would available for April, May and June.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau shined more light on the program, saying the government would be offering loans, including forgivable loans to commercial landlords who offer rent reductions to businesses.
In addition, Trudeau also announced that the Canada Emergency Business Account will now be open to businesses that spent between $20,000 and $1.5 million in total payroll in 2019.
The Town of Whitby is now showing the most updated version of the Whitby Green Standard, the planning tool the Town is developing to help advance sustainable new development across the Town of Whitby.
Click here to access the following documents:
The Town is encouraging you to review these documents and provide your comments via the online survey by no later than Friday, April 25.
In addition, the Town is inviting you to attend the final Stakeholder Consultation Session, scheduled to take place online on Wednesday, April 29 from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
This session will be led by the consultants Planning Partnership & Urban Equation and will run through the process of the Whitby Green Standard and provide an opportunity to address the feedback received through the surveys.
Click here to register for the Stakeholder Consultation Session.
Clarington council met last night and one of the items on the agenda was the current development charge bylaw review. Their current development charge bylaw is set to expire on July 1, 2020, and the municipality is currently in the midst of creating a new bylaw.
The Durham Region Home Builders' Association submitted a letter to council yesterday encouraging them to take advantage of the provincial legislation tabled yesterday that allows the current bylaw to be extended for up to six months after the termination of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. As the Act was extended yesterday until early May, the current DC bylaw could be extended until at least November.
DRHBA felt strongly that it was essential that council extend the bylaw, giving members time to thoroughly review the background study and technical appendix and provide important feedback.
We are pleased to share that council agreed with DRHBA's request, and last night passed a motion: That, in accordance with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Protection Act, 2020, which received Royal Assent on April 14, 2020, the Municipality's existing Development Charges By-Law (By-law 2015-035) shall remain in force until such date as specified in the Act and therefore, staff be directed to schedule the statutory public meeting for a date after the lifting of the emergency declared under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act on March 17, 2020 with such meeting being advertised publicly.
Other motions in regards to the development charge bylaw that directed staff to continue their consultations with DRHBA members and builders in the community prior to finalizing the background study and bylaw; and to release the background study and bylaw at a date to be determined by the Director of Finance.
Members are encouraged to review the background study and the technical appendix, and send their comments to Stacey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TORONTO ― On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and with the approval of the Ontario legislature, the Ontario government is extending the Declaration of Emergency under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act for a further 28 days. This will allow the government to continue to use every tool at its disposal to protect the health and safety of the people of Ontario during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Passed during a special sitting of the Ontario legislature and with the full cooperation of all parties, the Declaration of Emergency has been extended until May 12. The extension of the provincial declaration of emergency allows Ontario to continue to enforce current emergency orders, such as the closure of all non-essential workplaces, outdoor amenities such as parks and recreational areas, public places and bars and restaurants, as well as restrictions on social gatherings of more than five people, and prohibitions against price-gouging. A full list of emergency orders can be found on the e-Laws website under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
"During these unprecedented times, we cannot let our guard down. The actions being taken by everyone to stay home and practice physical distancing are making a difference, but we are not out of the woods yet," said Premier Ford. "With the support of every Ontario MPP, we continue to take any and all actions necessary to support our frontline health care workers and respond rapidly and decisively to slow the spread of this deadly virus."
The legislature also passed the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Protection Act to amend the Education Act, Planning Act, Development Charges Act, Police Services Act and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act. This new legislation demonstrates that the government is actively listening to the concerns of education and municipal stakeholders during this COVID-19 emergency.
"This legislation is about protecting the health and economic interests of Ontarians," said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. "We will do whatever it takes to get through this challenge ― most especially for the next generation ― so that students continue learning and graduating."
The amendments to the Education Act will allow school boards to continue charging fees on new construction in order to retain a vital source of revenue for new school projects. The bill also includes an amendment to provide a fair and consistent provincewide approach to addressing school suspensions and expulsions as part of the government's commitment to the safety of students and staff upon the reopening of schools.
The changes to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act will temporarily suspend student loan payments for OSAP borrowers and initiate a six-month interest-free moratorium on OSAP loans.
"We are taking action to ease the financial burden for students and current borrowers during the COVID-19 outbreak," said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities. "By temporarily suspending loan repayments and interest accrual, our government is providing immediate support for OSAP borrowers during these challenging times."
The government is making it possible to suspend certain municipal planning decision timelines during the state of emergency, and change the Development Charges Act to ensure municipalities can continue to count on a vital source of revenue that helps pay for local growth-related infrastructure, such as roads, water and sewers as well as fire and police services. The amendments to the Police Services Act also allow the Solicitor General to give municipalities an extension beyond January 1, 2021 to prepare and adopt a community safety and well-being plan.
"Nothing is more important than protecting the health and well-being of all individuals and families," said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. "We have listened to our municipal partners and made these changes to help them better manage staff time and resources so they can focus on the COVID-19 outbreak."
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Durham Region Home Builders' Association is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 101C-1050 Simcoe Street North, Oshawa, ON L1G 4W5