WCB and Disability Law Update (COVID-19)

Discipline or termination for raising an occupational health and safety issue.

Many workers are concerned that employers will bring reprisals for raising COVID-19 OHS issues. However, under the Workers Compensation Act this is illegal.

Under the Workers Compensation Act if an employer discriminates (suspends, demotes, terminates, etc.) a worker for raising a health and safety issue including those related to COVID-19, then the worker can seek recourse through the WCB. These provisions are called discriminatory action complaints.

These provisions are set out in the Occupational Health and Safety Part of the Workers Compensation Act. In brief, it sets out that if an employer’s disciplinary action is even tainted by a health and safety issue than a worker can bring a complaint to the Board. If proven the Board can order any of the following actions:

• Reinstatement;
• Payment of lost wages;
• Removal of reprimand from record;
• Out of pocket expenses;
• Anything else the WCB considers necessary to secure compliance.

This process can run parallel to a grievance process. However, resolution through one process typically means further recourse cannot be pursued through the other. What is helpful about the discriminatory action process is the following:

• Timeline for filing a claim is 1 year or 60 days for failure to pay wages;
• Focused expertise from adjudicators on OHS matters;
• Free mediation process paid by the WCB;
• Broad power to order remedy similar to the jurisdiction of arbitrators.

I’ve had a fair amount of success in both mediating and running discriminatory action hearings through the WCB and WCAT. If you have any specific questions please feel free to contact me to discuss.

WCB Prevention Department and COVID-19

The WCB is divided into two halves – Compensation and Prevention. Compensation is responsible for administering benefits for injured workers. Prevention is responsible for education and enforcement of worker safety in the province.

During Covid19, the WCB has focused on educating employers to ensure compliance with occupational health and safety regulations. The specific areas being focused on are the following:

• Identifying exposure hazards and developing measures of control;
• Controlling the number of people on site;
• Prohibiting workers who are sick and those returning from outside Canada from immediate return to employment.

Generally, the WCB is looking to ensure employers are minimizing risk of the spread of COVID-19 during the pandemic. If an employer is not taking reasonable steps to instigate risk management, the WCB will take action to either education or write orders up to and including fines and shut downs.

Should an employer continue to violate safe protocols or fail to conduct reasonable assessments including JOHS committee members, consider contacting the WCB Prevention Line at 1.888.621.7233

Information for Specific Industries

The WCB has released industry specific information to assist worker safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The specific industries and the hyperlinks to the information are as follows:

Health Care;

This information is helpful from both an educational perspective but also to ensure employers are maintaining their obligations during COVID-19.

COVID-19 In Construction

The following information has been provided by the BC Building Trades.


The information on these pages is intended to assist you in providing relevant and reliable information to your members about COVID-19 and the services & supports that are available to them. It is not intended to replace the customized content you may already have, but rather to assist your efforts. Please feel free to use in whole or part where appropriate to inform website content, social media channels and member communication.

It has been provided as a Word document in order to facilitate “copying and pasting,” and hyperlinks are provided throughout directing members to more robust information.

It will be updated as our situation changes, with the date and version of each document listed clearly on the front cover.

For more information or to suggest edits, please contact:

Corry Anderson-Fennell

Director of Communications


What the BC Building Trades and its affiliates are doing

We are working with provincial and federal governments to help the construction sector successfully navigate COVID-19. This includes:

  • Pushing WorkSafeBC to enforce occupational health and safety regulations to make construction sites safe. Our work has resulted in a special “inspectional initiative” to bring construction worksites into compliance with health and safety regulations.
  • Lobbying for financial supports for construction workers facing job loss due to COVID-19.
  • Co-ordinating the flow of accurate and relevant information throughout our networks so that our members can find it where and when they need it.
  • At the affiliate level, our local unions are variously helping their members access the many supports and services available to them, reaching out to retired and out-of-work members to offer help, assisting their communities manage the crisis by leveraging the unique skills of construction workers, and keeping their members informed about the near-hourly changes to the response to this current health crisis.

COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool

The BC Ministry of Health developed a self-assessment tool to help determine whether you may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19. You can complete this assessment for yourself, or on behalf of someone else, if they are unable. COVID-19 Self-assessment Tool

Self-monitoring & Self-isolation

The BC Centre for Disease Control offers information on self-monitoring and self-isolation on its website,

Self-monitoring means looking for new symptoms or signs of COVID-19 infection such as fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, etc.

Self-isolation means staying home and not going to work or school, and monitoring for symptoms for 14 days. Some essential service workers may be exempt from the 14-day self-isolation period.

Check the BCCDC website for full details.

Who to call

  • Non-medical hotline: 1-888-COVID19 or 1-888-268-4319. The line is staffed from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, and information is available in more than 110 languages.
  • If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone known to have COVID-19, call 811 to speak with a health care professional.

Stay up to date

The B.C. Government has developed a COVID-19 Support application, which lets you receive the latest updates and alerts, and resources from trusted sources. The self-assessment tool is also embedded in the application. Download it from the App Store or Google Play, or access the web version here.


Construction is an essential service

Under the province’s Emergency Program Act, construction work has been deemed an essential service.

Essential services are those daily services that are essential to preserving life, health, public safety and basic societal functioning.

While the Provincial Health Officer has ordered some types of businesses to close, construction workers are considered non-health essential service providers. All construction work must continue to abide the orders and guidance provided by the Provincial Health Officer to ensure safe operations and reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. This is not optional.

More information here.

Guidelines for construction

The BC Government has issued specific guidelines for construction sites operating during COVID-19. The guidelines include:

  • No more than 50 people in the same space in any circumstances.
  • Employees should maintain a distance of two metres apart.
  • Reduce in-person meetings and other gatherings and hold site meetings in open spaces or outside.
  • Increase the number of handwashing stations and post signage that identifies their location.

Find the full list here.

Occupational health and safety – washroom facilities on construction sites

The condition and provision of washroom facilities on construction sites and any other workplace is covered by Section 4.85 of the B.C. Occupational Health and Safety Regulation. This regulation requires workplaces to have either fixed or portable washroom facilities that include provisions for hand-washing, and that they are kept in clean and sanitary condition with the proper supplies necessary to use them.

We know that many construction sites are not following these rules, and we are in the process of working with contractors and government to address this issue.

If your construction site is not maintaining proper washroom and hand-washing facilities to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we ask that you:

  • Email us (regardless of whether you are a member of one of our unions) at info@bcbuildingtrades.org so that we can compile information to advocate on your behalf AND
  • Call WorkSafe BC at 604-276-3100 (Lower Mainland) or 1-888-621-7233 (toll free) to report your site.

Right to refuse unsafe work

You have the right in B.C. to refuse unsafe work. WorkSafeBC provides the steps to follow in order to achieve a remedy here.

We realize that conditions of “unsafe work” have taken on new meaning in the context of COVID-19. If you feel you are being asked to work unsafely (social distancing and sanitation requirements and recommendations are not being met, for example).

In this case, you should consult your union for advice and direction.

Importantly, workers who voluntarily quit instead of being laid off are normally not entitled to Employment Insurance. However, if you have “just cause” for quitting – you can show that quitting your job was the only reasonable alternative – you may be paid regular EI benefits. Just cause may include occupational health and safety regulations, human rights or labour rights not being followed. See full information on the steps to take here.

Job-protected leave

The B.C. Government has amended the Employment Standards Act to provide job protection to workers who are unable to work due to COVID-19. This allows workers affected by COVID-19 to stay home as needed for the following reasons:

  • they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are acting in accordance with instructions or an order of a medical health officer or the advice of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner or registered nurse;
  • they are in quarantine or self-isolation in accordance with an order of the provincial health officer, an order made under the federal Quarantine Act, or guidelines of the BC Centre for Disease Control or the Public Health Agency of Canada;
  • they have been directed by their employer to stay home because of concerns about their exposure to others;
  • they are unable to return to B.C. because of a travel or border restriction; or
  • they are providing care to their minor child or a dependent adult who is their child or former foster child, including when a school, daycare or similar facility has closed.

There is no limit to how long people can take leave. More information here.

Extension of Occupational Safety Certificates

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, WorkSafeBC is granting extensions on any occupational first aid, or equivalent certificates, that are due to expire between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020. These certificates will now be acceptable in the workplace for 90 days beyond their original expiry date. More information here.

Working at home

Construction workers can’t work from home, however, some administrative staff are working remotely due to COVID-19. WorkSafeBC offers guidelines for basic health and safety when working from home.

The employer should ensure a basic health and safety policy is in place to work remotely and that each party understands their role, duties and responsibilities.

More information here.

WorkSafeBC claims

WorkSafeBC continues to provide services related to work-related injury or disease, including for new and outstanding claims. All call centres remain open.

Information on work-related injury claims for workers is available here.


These are challenging times, and we urge you to be mindful of your mental health as well as your physical health.

As a member of the BC Building Trades, you have access to the Construction Industry Rehabilitation Plan, which offers a number of options to keep your mental health in check.

CIRP offers long-term counselling to assist members dealing with depression, anxiety, Substance use, pain management and other mental health concerns. All services are free, completely confidential, and available via video conferencing during this new working-from-home normal.

Visit the CIRP website, email info@constructionrehabplan.com or call 1-888-521-8611 for more information.


Employment Insurance

The Government of Canada has made changes to Employment Insurance in response to COVID-19, including waiving the waiting period for those who qualify for EI Sickness Benefits, as well as waiving the requirement to provide a medical certificate to access these benefits. Members should apply for Sickness Benefits if they are unable to work due to illness, injury or quarantine.

If a job is cancelled or suspended because of COVID-19, members out of work are on an economic lay-off and the current waiting period for EI still applies. We hope this will change, and we are currently lobbying government to eliminate the waiting period altogether. Members who have lost their job through no fault of their own and do not qualify for EI Sickness Benefits should apply for Regular Benefits.

For those who do not qualify for paid sick leave or EI benefits, a new Canada Emergency Response Benefit will provide a taxable benefit of $2,000 a month for up to four months to:

  • workers who must stop working due to COVID19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.
  • workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19.
  • working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures.
  • workers who still have their employment but are not being paid because there is currently not sufficient work and their employer has asked them not to come to work.
  • wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.

Workers who are already receiving EI should not apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

For information on this and additional federal supports, click here.

A provincial Emergency Benefit of $1,000 is available to workers, regardless of their eligibility for Employment Insurance and any other federal income top-up. Applications will be available in April, with a one-time payment in May.

Rental relief

A new temporary rental supplement of $500 a month for four months is available to help tenants. Evictions have also been halted and rents have been frozen. The benefit will be available to low- and middle-income tenants who do not qualify for other rental assistance. Funds will be paid directly to landlords on behalf of tenants in order to ensure landlords continue to receive rental income during the pandemic. More information is available here.

In addition, the government has placed a moratorium on all evictions for non-payment of rent.

Utility relief

BC Hydro customers can defer payments or arrange for flexible payment plans without penalty. They can also access grants of up to $600 to pay their hydro bills using a Customer Crisis Fund.

Car insurance relief

ICBC customers on monthly payment plans can defer payments for up to 90 days without penalty.

Tax relief

Deadlines for various tax payments have been extended.

  • Personal income tax filing deadline changed to June 1
  • If you owe taxes, ability to defer tax payments until August 31
  • Business tax filing deadline changed to July 31

Student loan relief

Starting March 30, 2020, B.C. Student Loan payments are automatically frozen for six months. In addition, there is a moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans.

Community Savings Credit Union line of credit

Community Savings Credit Union is offering a special line of credit for workers facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Those facing job losses can have access to an interest free $2,500 line of credit.

Due to the current economic situation, the credit union is also maintaining a degree of flexibility for applicants in terms of work history and current employment status. You can still apply for it whether you are receiving EI or other income supports.

Importantly, these offerings are for current or new members of Community Savings only. Workers must join the credit union in order to leverage these options. This is an easy process and although Community Savings has branches throughout B.C., workers do not need to live near a branch in order to sign up; they can apply on the website.

For more information, visit the website or call:

  • Lower Mainland: 604-654-2000
  • Victoria: 250-385-8431
  • Toll Free:1-888-653-2000

Important Messages From The Health And Welfare Trustees

Due to the impact of COVID-19 and the financial burden that you may feel in the next few months, the Trustees have agreed to provide health and welfare coverage for May and June 2020 at no cost.  This means that you will not have any hours deducted from your hour bank nor will you have to self pay for those two months if your hour bank is low.  This free coverage will apply to you as long you had coverage for April, 2020.  It will also apply if you were about to become newly qualified for coverage for May, 2020.

This arrangement may be extended beyond June 30th, 2020.  The Trustees will review again in May and will decide at that time.

Finally, for retired members who are in receipt of a pension from Boilermakers Pension Plan and who have health and welfare coverage under the Retiree Plan, monthly deductions for coverage will reduce by 50% effective May 1/20 until the end of 2020.

Please contact the Plan administrator if you have any questions.  The best way to contact the administrator for the time being is via email – boilermakers359@bgbenefitsadmin.com

Homewood Health – COVID-19 – How To Speak To Children – click here to view

Homewood Health – COVID-19 – Facts and General Information – click here to view

Homewood Health – COVID-19 – Managing The Impact – click here to view

Business Manager’s Update Regarding COVID-19

  • General Office Hours will remain reduced for the week of March 30th – April 3rd, and remain closed for any walk-in traffic. See below for contact information.
  • Members continue to post back from postponed and/or completed jobs.
  • Emergency call-outs will continue to be dispatched as they occur. Some small job orders may also occur as the trades are considered essential services for the ongoing maintenance and repair of any facilities deemed essential. If you are called by dispatch you will be asked all the questions regarding your health, travel, and personal contact history and you must only accept the job if you are able. You may be asked to have your temperature taken at the gate and complete a COVID-19 health check form before being allowed onsite, and you must be both willing and able to accept the job.
  • The Health and Welfare Trustees will be scheduling an emergency conference call to discuss all aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how it affects our plan and our membership. Any announcements will be made through the Board of Trustees and our administrator, Bilsland Griffith Benefit Administrators.
  • There is ongoing discussions between the Canadian Lodges, the Canadian National, and the International Representatives of the Boilermakers regarding many of our member’s questions about union dues, among other topics. We will post any new information here as it becomes available.
  • The Union has received confirmation from Energy Safety Canada that the H2S Alive, Confined Space and Fall Arrest tickets that are to expire between January 1st, 2020 and September 1st, 2020 will now remain effective until September 1st, 2020.
  • Although the effect on our shop members has been minimal up until recently, they are now being affected and we will provide further information on the shops next week.
  • Jordan is visiting the Parkland site today and will try for the Horton-YVR RAM tank site also.
  • We will continue to update the membership as needed, and please see the links below for further information, in particular the link on keeping up your mental health in these strange times …stay safe…

Jordan Streng and Staff
Boilermakers Lodge 359

Helpful Links and announcements:


These are challenging times, and we urge you to be mindful of your mental health as well as your physical health. As a member of the BC Building Trades, you have access to the Construction Industry Rehabilitation Plan, which offers a number of options to keep your mental health in check. CIRP offers long-term counselling to assist members dealing with depression, anxiety, substance use, pain management and other mental health concerns. All services are free, and available via video conferencing during this new working-from-home “normal.” 

Visit the CIRP website, email info@constructionrehabplan.com or call 1-888-521-8611 for more information.

COVID-19 Workers Compensation Claims

Lodge 359 Members,

Please see the following information on Workers Compensation in BC:

COVID-19 Workers Compensation Claims

The following link provides updates on what is going on at the WCB with COVID-19 claims.


  1. There is no compensation for self-isolation before a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19.

WCB does provide benefits in the case of exposure claims but there are specific requirements that need to be met.

The RSCM Volume II sets out that four criteria must be met in order to receive compensation in the absence of conclusive evidence of a diagnosis. One of those factors is that “the effects of the exposure can be significantly mitigated or prevented by the immediate provision of post-exposure prophylaxis (“PEP”).

PEPs are applicable to exposure from diseases such as HIV, Hep-B and Rabies but not so with Covid-19. As such, compensation is not provided without a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19.

  1. There is compensation available when there is a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19 but the requirements are set high.

First, there is no presumption for coverage. The WCB has developed the policy quickly and has addressed the matter through general application. This means that there is no benefit of a presumption for any particular sector of workers.

In order to qualify for compensation the following two conditions must be met:

  1. a) Evidence that the worker has contracted COVID-19, by either:
  2.  a medical diagnosis in a medical report, or
  3. non-medical factual evidence where other evidence establishes the existence of COVID-19.


  1. b) The nature of the worker’s employment created a risk of contracting the disease significantly greater than the ordinary exposure risk of the public at large.

The WCB has provided clarity by what is meant by significantly greater than the ordinary exposure risk of the public at large.

An exposure where a significantly greater risk would be present is an acute care hospital worker, who is treating patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. In these cases, they are at greater risk than the general public of contracting the disease.

A circumstance where coverage would not be provided is where a worker is in contact with people in the public at large.

  1. Compensation may also be obtained on the merits of an individual case.

Outside of the regime set up by the WCB it may also be possible to obtain compensation if a worker can demonstrate direct exposure in the course of employment. In those cases compensation may be initially denied but upon further investigation and obtaining evidence your member may be successful.

I hope this has been helpful to explain what is currently available in terms of compensation for Covid-19. Next week I will provide an overview of the OHS Regulations as those relate to the right to refuse unsafe work.

Business Manager’s Update Regarding COVID-19

  • General Office hours are being reduced to the following for the week of March 23rd through March 27th. Walk in traffic remains closed, and the training center also remains closed.
    • Monday-Thursday 8am-3pm
    • Friday 8am-12noon
  • We continue to receive emergency job orders for various contractors and clients around the Province and we are doing all we can to assist these clients in maintaining their facilities. If you are called by dispatch for an emergency job you will be asked all the questions regarding your health, travel, and personal contact history and you must only accept the job if you are able. You will probably be asked to have your temperature taken at the gate before being allowed onsite and you must be ok to go to work.
  • As Parkland Refinery has been deemed an essential service, the work to get it back online continues and we very much appreciate everyone still working long and hard hours to do just that. Please support those Boilermakers and their families any way you can.
  • YVR tank project continues at this time and will assess their job as time goes on.
  • Site C and Pembina/Prince Rupert jobs will be shut down for the Boilermakers by the end of this week.
  • All Union office staff are now on alternating days in the office and working remotely from home, or taking vacation time. For general emails please send to memberservices@boilermakers359.org and they will be forwarded accordingly. Staff are also available on their work emails. We are reviewing office staffing levels going forward and will reduce staff as its deemed necessary.
  • For anyone laid off, post your name back through Memberlink if possible. If you are not registered on Memberlink, and the posting phone line is closed, please email all your relevant posting details that would normally be given when posting to memberservices@boilermakers359.org
  • All staff including Admin and BM staff emails can be found here; https://www.boilermakers359.org/administrative-staff/
  • Please see other useful links at the bottom of this notice and stay safe out there.

Jordan Streng and Staff
Boilermakers Lodge 359

Helpful Links:

WorkSafe BC Website:  https://www.worksafebc.com/en/about-us/news-events/announcements/2020/March/covid-19-and-the-workplace

Business Manager’s Update Regarding COVID-19

  • Please be aware that we will begin limiting work being done from the general office as of today. If you need to contact us, please email memberservices@boilermakers359.org with your queries and include a contact number where you can be reached. We will continue to monitor this email through the times that contact by phone is not available. We plan to have phone and posting lines open on Monday morning at this time.

  • For anyone laid off, post your name back through Memberlink if possible. If you are not registered on Memberlink, and the posting phone line is closed, please email all your relevant posting details that would normally be given when posting to memberservices@boilermakers359.org
  • Site C work site is now being shut down except for essential and critical path work. The Boilermakers are currently not involved in those categories so we expect that all Boilermakers onsite will be sent home over the next week as the site is secured and transportation can be arranged.
  • Pembina/Horton in Prince Rupert is now being shutdown, with those Boilermakers onsite being sent home over the next week as the site is secured and transportation can be arranged.
  • We are obtaining up to date crew lists for all jobs being shut down due to COVID-19 and we will be recalling all those that were on each of those jobs as soon as they re-start. All Lodge 359 members laid off must post their names back onto our out of work list.
  • The office and training center remain closed to all walk in traffic. We are working towards a remote work arrangement for some staff in order to limit contact, but we will attempt to maintain basic operations for the near future.
  • We are communicating with BCIT and the ITA regarding the recent level 3 class and the postponed Foundations class to ensure students are informed on what is happening with their Red Seal testing and Foundations class start dates. Apprentices and students can call and speak to Jamie or Gord next week if they have any questions.
  • The International President has given the Canadian Business Managers the ability to cancel the April and May monthly Union meetings as required, and the decision has been made to cancel the April meeting. A decision on the May meeting has not been made at this time.

Please stay safe and we will continue to update as necessary.


Jordan Streng and Staff
Boilermakers Lodge 359

Helpful Links:

WorkSafe BC Website:  https://www.worksafebc.com/en/about-us/news-events/announcements/2020/March/covid-19-and-the-workplace

Business Manager’s Update Regarding COVID-19

Business Manager Jordan Streng and the Union’s staff want to ensure that the members are being kept up to date on the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic are having on our membership and our work picture. We will be updating the membership through regular notices such as this and will be posting on our Website and Facebook page. Updates may also appear on the nightly job-line if they are directly related to the work picture and of an immediate nature.

Please be patient and understand that the Union, the Contractors, and the Owner/Clients are in a rapidly evolving situation and no one entity has all of the answers that we are asking at this moment. We will attempt to keep you up to date on the work, dispatch, and H&W side, but please keep informed through your local and national news feeds for all general information.

We are recommending that all members be prepared for a considerable delay to the start of the spring shutdown season, and the work and pay cheques that come along with it. Current jobs may also be postponed as employers and owners assess their individual jobs and requirements.

  • The Union’s General Office and Dispatch will remain open for now, but we are no longer allowing in person visits at the office to ensure services can continue. Please call the office at 778.369.3590, email memberservices@boilermakers359.org , or visit our Website and/or Memberlink at boilermakers359.org if you require assistance. Our H&W administrator, BG Benefits, can be reached at 1.877.926.4537.
  • Lodge 359 is participating in a regularly scheduled conference call with all Canadian Lodges and staff, being chaired by our Boilermaker National Health and Safety Director Jason McInnis, to ensure we are all following best practices and have a uniform response plan across Canada.
  • We are requiring that anyone who is feeling ill or who has travelled outside of Canada recently, refrain from accepting any dispatches to jobs for a minimum of 14 days.

  • The Harmac, Nanaimo shutdown that was scheduled for prep work to start today, with the shutdown to follow on Monday March 23, has been postponed. As we receive further information on a new start date we will advise the membership. If you were dispatched to the Harmac prep, please re-post your name under 40 hours.
  • If jobs are cancelled, postponed or current jobs are put on hold, we will adjust our recall and dispatch provisions as required, and we will ensure that those who are currently working can return to those jobs when they re-start.
  • We have posted general information and safety rules to help prevent COVID-19 from spreading rapidly in a previous post, so please read and follow those recommendations.
  • The Federal Government has removed the 1 week waiting period for EI Benefits for sick benefits. See the link here https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html

Please keep in touch with the website and we will post more information as it becomes available.


Jordan Streng and Staff
Boilermakers Lodge 359

COVID-19 Update

In order to ensure the Boilermakers Lodge 359 General Office can continue to serve the Membership during this COVID-19 pandemic we are not allowing walk-ins to the office or the Training Center until further notice. Members can call the General Office at 778 369 3590 or email Memberservices@boilermakers359.org with any questions/concerns that they may have.

Members with concerns regarding Extended Medical Benefits and Health and Welfare please contact Bilsland Griffith at 1 877 926 4537.

The Harmac Shutdown in Nanaimo has been postponed until further notice any member that has accepted the job please post under forty.  The Boilermakers Lodge 359 will be providing more information in regards to ongoing jobs as well as future shutdowns to our website as it becomes available.


Due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19 globally, Construction Labour Relations (CLR) and the BC Building Trades (BCBT) are proactively trying to limit the spread of infection in the workplace.

Our shared priority is the health, safety and welfare of our 35,000 members and signatory contractors.

Although the Public health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for the general population, we must all remain vigilant in order to protect public health.

Health Canada recommends the following procedures to increase proper hygiene and reduce the risk of infection or spreading infection to others:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom and when preparing food;
  • use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available;
  • when coughing or sneezing:
    • cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand
    • dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible in a lined waste basket and wash your hands afterwards;
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands

SYMPTOMS: The following are common symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Dry cough

RISK: You are at a greater risk for COVID-19 If:

  • You have recently travelled to a COVID-19 impacted area
  • You have been in close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19
  • You have been in close contact with a person with acute respiratory illness who has been to a COVID-19 impacted area

If you experience the symptoms above AND/OR you have a higher risk of developing COVID-19, please contact your health care provider. You can also call 811 to speak with a registered nurse.

**Please note that the federal government has announced changes to the Employment Insurance program waiving the mandatory one-week waiting period, allowing those who self-isolate or quarantine to apply for support immediately.

CLR and BCBT will continue to monitor the outbreak and provide guidance as directed by public health agencies.


Health Canada


BC Centre for Disease Control


World Health Organization