The Ontario government began targeted provincewide inspections of construction sites on April 16, 2021, dispatching 200 workplace inspectors, supported by provincial offenses officers, to visit 1,300 constructions sites to enforce safety requirements.
Similar inspections will be carried out in big box stores, food processors, manufacturers and warehouses, in Ottawa, Toronto and York Region, which have been identified as hot spots for COVID-19.
Inspectors will be checking that employers understand the risks associated with COVID-19, including how to reduce the spread in their workplace, and that measures and procedures are in place to keep workers safe. They will also be ensuring that workers are practising safe work habits both on the clock and on breaks, checking for physical distancing and wearing appropriate personal protective equipment when required.
Violations of COVID-19 safety requirements could result in fines of up to $750 for individuals and $1,000 for businesses.
Many small businesses are struggling to stay afloat and cover their fixed costs, such as rent and insurance, while taking a negative impact on their revenues. Government assistance has emerged to help businesses pay for their rent, but many have had their fate put into the hands of their landlords to apply for the assistance. The new Canadian Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) is being introduced to provide rent relief for businesses and allows these businesses to apply to the assistance directly as opposed to waiting for their landlords to do so.