Operations Advisory: Ontario deems autobody repair essential service

Toronto, Ontario ⁠— Ontario’s provincial government has listed auto supply and repair services as essential businesses amid the global coronavirus outbreak and advises the businesses to stay open to assist in support efforts.

Motor vehicle, auto-supply, auto and motor-vehicle-repair, including bicycle repair, aircraft repair, heavy equipment repair, watercraft/marine craft repairs, car and truck dealerships and related facilities,” are deemed essential services and are advised to stay open amid the virus, according to the Ontario government.

The province released a full list of essential services on Mar. 23 after scrutiny over the definition of the term. Officials had previously recommended all non-essential services shutter their doors, though failed to provide a clear list detailing exactly which businesses should remain open.

The list also defines supply chains as essential services, saying “Businesses that supply other essential businesses or essential services with the support, supplies, systems or services, including processing, packaging, distribution, delivery and maintenance necessary to operate,” are to remain open. The order was effective Mar. 23 at 11:59 p.m.

Ontario reported 78 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the provincial total to 503. Canada’s total sat at 2,091.

Quebec Premier François Legault also deemed repair facilities essential services and ordered all other non-essential services to close up shop for “at least three weeks” to help thwart the spread of the disease.

Ontario’s Doug Ford-led government also announced a $200-million funding boost for social services, including shelters, food banks, emergency services, charities and non-profits. Money is set to go to municipalities and social service agencies and will help those organizations hire additional staff and operate using social distancing.

“Organizations across the province are doing critical work right now to help vulnerable Ontarians and these funds will allow them to directly help those who need it most,” Ford said in a statement.

The funding will also go toward an expanded emergency assistance program for people on welfare to help cover food, rent, informal childcare arrangements and other services.

Other industry businesses listed as essential businesses in Ontario include:

  • Businesses and facilities that provide transportation services to businesses and individuals including by air, water, road, and rail including providing logistical support, distribution services, warehousing and storage, including truck stops and tow operators.
  • Businesses that provide materials and services for the operation, maintenance and safety of transportation systems (road, transit, rail, air and marine) including the delivery of maintenance services such as clearing snow, response to collisions, and completing needed repairs to the transportation systems.
  • Businesses that extract, manufacture, process and distribute goods, products, equipment and materials, including businesses that manufacture inputs to other manufacturers (e.g. primary metal/ steel, blow moulding, component manufacturers, chemicals, etc. that feed the end-product manufacturer);
  • Organizations, including Administrative Authorities, that regulate and inspect businesses.

Click here for the full list.

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