Don Wall | Daily Commerical News – March 19, 2020

Training of building trades workers has been essentially shut down across Ontario as fears of the spread of the coronavirus has prompted the provincial government to mandate against significant gatherings of people.

An online update posted March 16 from the Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA) noted that some jobsites had been closed down. Details were not immediately available.

The next morning, Premier Doug Ford announced a state of emergency and said gatherings of more than 50 people would be banned. But trade unions such as the Labourers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) and the Carpenters’ District Council of Ontario, which have training centres across the province, had already suspended their training programs as had agencies such as the Workers Health & Safety Centre (WHSC) and the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA).

Another provider of building trades training, the Ontario community college system, has been setting up online training programs to replace in-class sessions.

IHSA president and CEO Enzo Garritano said its health and safety messages have been following the lead of the province’s public health statements.