News & Media

Message from James Barry regarding recent updates and Government response to COVID-19 Pandemic

March 19, 2020

UPDATE: March 19, 6:34:15 PM

Please see below for the most recent updates on the federal and provincial governments’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Prime Minister reiterated that discussions with the USA to work out the details for non-essential travel ban are ongoing.  The PM believes that the ban will come into effect between Friday night and Saturday morning.  He stressed that the ban will not impact trade and commerce.
There were no new announcements by the federal government today.  They did make a significant announcement about a relief package yesterday, the details of that plan are important to every Canadian and can be found here .


The Ford government recalled the legislature today to pass two pieces of legislation that are critical to their COVID-19 response:

    1. The Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Disease Emergencies), 2020 provides job-protected leave for employees who are in isolation of quarantine, or those who need to be away from work to care for children because of school or daycare closures or to care for other relatives.  The measures are retroactive to January 25, 2020.  The legislation will also make it clear that employees cannot be required to show sick notes.
    2. The Municipal Emergency Act, 2020 will ensure that for the near future, the delivery of goods to Ontario’s businesses and consumers isn’t impacted by municipal noise by-laws that may unintentionally be impeding such deliveries when they are most urgently needed.  The legislation gives municipalities the ability to fully conduct Council, local board and committee meetings electronically when faced with local and province-wide emergencies, empowering the government’s municipal partners to respond quickly when in-person meetings cannot be held.

The government also announced that they are suspending all renewals for driver’s licenses, license plate stickers, and health cards.  We anticipate that the province will also waive the waiting period for OHIP eligibility for those returning to Canada from abroad, and the suspension of all eviction orders.
We expect the government to bring the legislature back next week so that Minister Phillips can present his economic update on March 25, 2020.

James Barry
Executive Secretary Treasurer
IBEW Construction Council of Ontario

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