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May 18, 2020updated 19 May 2020 9:56am

Construction sites to reopen in Ontario from 19 May as Canada takes further steps to restart its economy

On 14 May, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that all construction activities in the Ontario province will be allowed to resume from 19 May, along with retail stores, recreational sports and vehicle dealerships, among other services, amid the growing pressure from the business community to reopen the economy.

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Internet of Things set to transform the construction industry

The Internet of Things (IoT) is proving hugely beneficial to the construction industry, allowing different assets and people to be monitored and accounted for across a traditionally fragmented industry. As a result, companies that invest in IoT now promise to make long-term gains in the industry. According to GlobalData forecasts, spending on IoT in construction will reach $9.6bn by 2025. For an industry that has large sites to manage, strict project timelines, hazardous working conditions, and tight profit margins, IoT can create a manageable view of construction sites for project managers, streamline operations, and protect workers. In addition, it allows real-time data streams of assets, automates time-consuming tasks, and ensures employee safety and productivity. IoT integration with equipment manufacturing also has rich advantages for asset monitoring sensors. This, combined with artificial intelligence (AI) can help forecast materials and workers needed during the procurement stage and assist in forecast financing. Read GlobalData’s whitepaper to find out more, including information on:
  • IoT value chain
  • Market size and growth forecasts
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Leading IoT adopters in construction
  • Specialist IoT vendors in construction
Don’t get left behind – find out how IoT can fortify your operations and make investments now.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

Ontario is the largest construction market in Canada and the country’s most populous province as well as Canada’s economic engine. Mr Ford has proposed a three-stage reopening plan for its economy, after his government shut down most of its business activity in mid-March and ordered most construction sites to stop work from early April in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

The announcement by Premier Doug Ford comes eleven days after Quebec Premier Francois Legault announced that construction activities in all construction sectors were allowed to reopen across all regions in Quebec from 11 May, including residential, infrastructure, institutional, commercial, and industrial. With the second largest population in the country, Quebec has been the hardest hit Canadian province by Covid-19 since the coronavirus outbreak began. As of 15 May, Quebec had 40,724 confirmed coronavirus cases and 3,351 deaths in comparison to 73,401 confirmed cases across the country and 5,472 deaths.

The government of Quebec shut down all non-essential business activities, such as construction, on 24 March, with only construction works required for emergency repairs or safety purposes allowed to carry on.

Other local authorities in Canada including those of Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Saskatchewan recognised all construction activities as essential, allowing construction projects to continue with precautionary measures. However, some provinces such as Prince Edward Island took additional measures by ordering new construction starts to temporarily stop while the Newfoundland and Labrador province temporarily halted the construction of several major projects, including the Husky Energy’s West White Rose Project, the Vale’s Voisey’s Bay mine expansion and the Muskrat Falls dam.

Although the full resumption of construction activities in Ontario and Quebec should give a boost to Canada’s construction sector and the overall economy in the coming months, as well as ease supply chain disruptions in the industry, the risk of a second wave of coronavirus infections remains high in the country as the government continues to lift up restrictions to restart its stalled economy.

Health and safety measures to contain the spread of the virus at construction sites along with the declining demand for new projects amid increasing levels of unemployment are additional challenges for the industry as developers and construction companies are expected to continue to postpone or cancel projects, particularly those in the bidding or final planning stages.

According to Statistics Canada , the country’s unemployment rate rose by 13% in April compared to 7.8% in March, bringing the total number of lost jobs to more than three million since the pandemic started. This was the highest rate since December 1982 as job losses spread beyond the service sector to include construction and manufacturing.

The province of Quebec registered the highest unemployment rate in the country, with the rate of job losses jumping to 17%, the highest rate in more than four decades. In addition, Statistics Canada ‘s Labour Force Survey data showed that the construction and manufacturing sectors combined lost 621,000 jobs, a decline of 15.8% after being almost unchanged in March.

Also, data on building permits released by Statistics Canada on 8 May showed that the total value of building permits issued by Canadian municipalities fell by 13.2% in March, the largest decline since August 2014. Declines were reported in seven provinces and two territories, with British Columbia, Québec and Ontario reporting the largest drops at -19.4%, -18.1% and -12.9% respectively. By sector, permits issued for non-residential registered the largest drop, falling by 19.7%, followed by institutional, which posted a decline of 15% and residential permits declining by 13.1%.

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Free Report
img

Internet of Things set to transform the construction industry

The Internet of Things (IoT) is proving hugely beneficial to the construction industry, allowing different assets and people to be monitored and accounted for across a traditionally fragmented industry. As a result, companies that invest in IoT now promise to make long-term gains in the industry. According to GlobalData forecasts, spending on IoT in construction will reach $9.6bn by 2025. For an industry that has large sites to manage, strict project timelines, hazardous working conditions, and tight profit margins, IoT can create a manageable view of construction sites for project managers, streamline operations, and protect workers. In addition, it allows real-time data streams of assets, automates time-consuming tasks, and ensures employee safety and productivity. IoT integration with equipment manufacturing also has rich advantages for asset monitoring sensors. This, combined with artificial intelligence (AI) can help forecast materials and workers needed during the procurement stage and assist in forecast financing. Read GlobalData’s whitepaper to find out more, including information on:
  • IoT value chain
  • Market size and growth forecasts
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Leading IoT adopters in construction
  • Specialist IoT vendors in construction
Don’t get left behind – find out how IoT can fortify your operations and make investments now.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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