To put it mildly, the construction industry is living through unprecedented times. There’s a volatile combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and decisions about how to operate/manage construction businesses and sites if they are defined as essential services.
The pandemic has proven to be a challenging test for our daily construction newspaper, Ontario Construction News. In many ways, we have been well-prepared for the crisis. All of our staff and key contractors have always operated remotely from home offices. Since OCN-Daily is published electronically, there is no need to worry about physical distribution in stressful social distancing times.
But we’ve been faced with challenges about keeping up with the news, while ensuring the business remains viable as the industry slows down. At press time, it hasn’t ground to a halt but it is possible that Ontario will follow New York State in setting truly stringent requirements for projects to be considered “essential”. (Even with the much stricter designation, which stalls most commercial and residential projects, the cave-outs there include some really large institutional and even commercial projects, such as an Amazon distribution centre in suburban Syracuse and the $2 billion LaGuardia Airport expansion.)
Crisis times require quick thinking, a degree of courage, and adaptations to suddenly changed circumstances. I think most readers here will make it these challenging times okay, and we can take some comfort in knowing that the problems are not ours alone – the COVID-19 pandemic is a universal global problem.
We’ll keep on informing you of important issues and developments. Please check the ontarioconstructionnews.com site daily for updates. You can also reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Buckshon is president of the Construction News and Report Group of Companies, which publishes Ottawa Construction News.