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Quebec sets timeline for reopening entire construction industry


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April 28, 2020 by On-Site Staff

Construction on most construction in Quebec has been on hold since late March. PHOTO: REM

A week after workers were allowed to return to some residential construction projects in Quebec, the province has set a date for a wholesale reopening of the industry.

Jean Boulet, Quebec’s minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity, said April 28 that all job sites — infrastructure, industrial, commercial, institutional, residential or otherwise — will reopen May 11.

“Rest assured that our government will be there to do everything in its power to help businesses with this reopening,” Boulet said in a release. “I expect it to proceed smoothly and in strict compliance with the health measures prescribed by public health authorities.”

When staff return to job sites a week Monday, most Quebec construction will have been paused for nearly six weeks as public health authorities worked to contain Canada’s worst outbreak of COVID-19.

As of April 28, Quebec had nearly 26,000 cases of the virus — just over half the Canadian total.

The focus will remain on worker health and safety as construction gets back underway, Boulet said. He noted 300 safety inspectors from the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) will be keeping a close watch on job sites to ensure the province’s COVID-19 guidelines are being followed.

Along with construction, Quebec manufacturers and retailers outside Montreal will be given the green light to reopen May. 11.