Different rules across the country are causing confusion and that’s cause for concern for many in the industry.
Ontario and Quebec for example have issued different orders and regulations on how they will fight the spread of the coronavirus.
In Ontario, the necessities of life include shelters and as such construction and wood products manufacturing continues provided companies adhere to the social distancing and sanitary practices.
In Quebec, not so much.
Most construction sites there have been shuttered and the wood-manufacturing sector is closed for business as well.
So while wood products manufacturers are allowed to continue in Ontario, Quebec’s industry had to shut its doors.
Sandra Wood, executive director of the Canadian Kitchen Cabinet Association, says members have been contacting her seeking clarification, but she says the only thing that’s clear is that there are varying rules across the country.
Earlier this week, the Bluewater Wood Alliance in Southwestern Ontario spoke with its member of provincial parliament who confirmed they could continue operations provided they meet the social distancing and sanitary requirements.
In Nova Scotia, “Health and safety is most important. Employers and workers must follow the orders under the Health Protection Act. Construction and manufacturing are exempt from the five-person social gather rule, work is not social gathering. Workers should self distance. For now we will allow essential services to work, we're just asking you to work differently."
And in New Brunswick, managers of workplaces are ordered to reduce work to critical functions and take every reasonable step required to prevent persons who exhibit coronavirus symptoms from entering the workplace.
To say the rules and regulations across the country are confusing is an understatement.
Even in Ontario, some companies have shut down their operations, while others have reduced operations or continue business as usual.
The same holds true for suppliers.
Woodworking asked industry suppliers and partners for an update on the status of their operations and how they are continuing to support their customers with service and parts.
Have a look here at what Akhurst, Planit Canada, SCM Group Canada, WEINIG HOLZ-HER, Hafele, BIESSE, Leitz, GRASS, HOMAG Canada and KCD Software have said.
Others, such as Taurus Craco Machinery in Brampton, Ont. have announced they are closing their offices temporarily, but customers will still be able to get service.
In a letter to customers, Wes Love, president, has said they are doing their part to suppress the curve of COVID-19 and their offices will be closed for 14 days as of March 24. However, their technical service department will be open to serve customers upon request.
CNC Automation in Que. has also announced a temporary closure of its head office until April 13.
In a letter on the company’s website, company president Andrew Legault says:
“This action is to conform to the request made by the government to stop all business activities considered non-essential.
“CNC Automation believes that it is essential to follow the rules of containment to protect our employees, their families and all business partners. We totally support the efforts to contain the virus “sooner than later” so that we can all return to our regular lives as quickly as possible.
"I am very proud to say that the entire team at CNC Automation is working together to assure the health and safety of our staff and those around us. CNC Automation will continue to follow our various support email groups – email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com and we will endeavor to respond in a timely manner relative to the current circumstances.”