A detail from the mural.

Municipal governments issue joint letter to the construction industry on essential services  

The following is a press release issued jointly by the four municipalities of Haliburton County:

On April 3 2020 the Province of Ontario revised the Essential Services list to stop the Spread of COVID-19 and as part of that revision “Construction” has been limited to specific allowances.

As of 11:59 pm April 4 2020 construction sites across Ontario shall be limited to the following parameters:

1. Construction projects and services associated with the healthcare sector including new

facilities expansions renovations and conversion of spaces that could be repurposed for health care space.

2. Construction projects and services required to ensure safe and reliable operations of or to

provide new capacity in critical provincial infrastructure including transit transportation energy and justice sectors beyond the day-to-day maintenance.

3. Critical industrial construction activities required for

• the maintenance and operations of petrochemical plants and refineries

• significant industrial petrochemical projects where preliminary work has already commenced

• industrial construction and modifications to existing industrial structures limited solely to work necessary for the production maintenance and/or enhancement of Personal Protective Equipment medical devices (such as ventilators) and other identified products directly related to combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. Residential construction projects where

• a footing permit has been granted for single family semi-detached and townhomes

• an above grade structural permit has been granted for condominiums mixed use and other buildings or

• the project involves renovations to residential properties and construction work was started before April 4 2020.

5. Construction and maintenance activities necessary to temporarily close construction sites that

have paused or are not active and to ensure ongoing public safety.

Under the provincial mandate construction cannot be started unless the project falls within the essential list above.

Effective April 5 2020 the Building Departments for the municipalities of Algonquin Highlands Dysart et al Highlands East and Minden Hills will not be issuing any new building or septic permits. We know there are many projects in the final stages of design and are ready for submission for application. We will continue to accept applications for review but will not issue the permit until the Province lifts the emergency order. We encourage those wishing to apply for a permit to do so electronically.

Building inspections will continue to be completed on projects that were started prior to April 4 2020 subject to COVID-19 safe work practices. Please call your respective municipality to book these inspections. Please note inspectors will not enter a premises that is occupied.

The above noted conditions do not exempt an individual from rectifying an unsafe condition (including septic systems or structural failure) during this time. Should a municipality place an order on a property it is the responsibility of the property owner to remedy the situation within the timelines and requirements of the municipality. It will be at the municipality’s discretion to determine if a permit is available for the work to be carried out during this time.

Septic systems that have failed or require repair in accordance with an Order to Remedy will receive a permit for replacement.

Building Department staff are not responsible for confirming what workplaces are essential and communicating only what inspections we are able to complete. Essential Workplaces information is available by calling the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659 or by visiting the website https://www.ontario.ca/page/list-essential-workplaces .

As with everything these directions are subject to change based on further direction from the Province of Ontario the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and/or the OBOA.

Should you have any questions please contact us for more information.

Greg Moore

Township of Algonquin Highlands


705-489-2379 ext. 330

Karl Korpela

Municipality of Dysart et al


705-457-1740 ext. 627

Laurie Devolin

Municipality of Highlands East


705-447-0051 ext. 440

Colin McKnight

Township of Minden Hills


705-286-1260 ext. 210