The Quebec government will allow some residential construction to resume as an essential service during the COVID-19 shutdown that has brought much of the provincial economy to a halt. Mines, auto mechanics and landscaping and gardening centres will also be allowed to reopen.

As of April 20, construction will be allowed to resume in the residential sector, for projects that were originally supposed to be finished by July 31. Unions say they’ll be making sure safety precautions are respected on construction sites. “We don’t want to add a housing crisis on top of the current health crisis we’re living through,” Quebec Premier François Legault told reporters.

The CNESST, Quebec’s workplace safety board, has created a special committee to monitor problematic work sites, and the board will have the power to shut down any work site if health guidelines are not followed.

Mechanics will be allowed to reopen their garages as well, as long as they follow proper safety guidelines. Quebec has also extended the deadline to remove studded tires, from May 1 to June 5.

Garden centres, landscaping stores, and residential pool stores will also be allowed to reopen. Garden centres will have to put safety precautions into place quickly and call back employees who’ve been laid off. “In the springtime, it gets very, very busy fast here and we can’t have that influx of people all coming in at once, we’re going to have to control the crowds a little bit,” said Patrick Robson from the Centre de Jardin Brossard. 

Mines in Quebec will also be allowed to reopen starting, but only with strict measures in place to limit contagion. They include reducing the amount of people on flights into and out of mining areas, using more planes for those flights to ensure distancing, offering shuttle buses directly to mines to limit workers’ contacts, and having workers don personal protective equipment.

Click here for the Quebec Government Essentials Business list.

Source: Globe & Mail
Source: CTV News
Source: Montreal Gazette