Montreal, Wednesday, July 15, 2020 – BOMA Quebec, the Association for the owners and managers of commercial building in the province, is delighted with the announcement made today by the Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity, Jean Boulet, the Deputy Minister of Transportation and Minister of the Greater Montreal region, Chantal Rouleau, and the strategic medical and public health advisor for the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Dr. Richard Massé, confirming that office buildings across Quebec will reopen as of July 18.
As long as the current social distancing measures remain in effect, buildings cannot operate at full capacity due to logistical reasons and also to ensure the safety and security of all building occupants. BOMA Quebec shares the government's opinion that workers who are able to telework should continue to do so for the near future. The maximum occupancy rate allowed is 25%, which could rise in the coming months as the pandemic evolves.
Companies leasing premises in buildings are responsible for ensuring the implementation of all the health precautions and measures required to ensure the safety and security of their employees. The CNESST (workplace health and safety commission) has reaffirmed its full cooperation in case of need or if questions arise. Keep in mind that a COVID-19 Kit is available online free of charge for organizations in diverse sectors of the economy. BOMA Quebec and the IDU (urban development institute) will soon release a guide to recommendations specially designed for office buildings.
Employees who return to work must adapt to the new reality and must comply with the health standards in place for their own safety and for the safety of others, i.e. respect indications for foot traffic in hallways, wear masks in buildings, no more than 2 or 3 people at a time in elevators, reorganize workspaces with partitions and Plexiglas, adhere to the maximum number of persons allowed in common areas, wash hands frequently, close spaces deemed to be inadequate or too cramped for the current context, etc. These are some examples of measures to be put in place by businesses.
"Since the onset of the pandemic, BOMA Quebec has been very proactive, providing members with pertinent information in terms of best practices to adopt during the pandemic and for an eventual resumption of activities," noted Annik Desmarteau, president of BOMA Quebec. "Most of our activities have been converted to a virtual format, and several Covid-specific webinars have been created to support building managers as effectively as possible as the situation evolves. These cover everything from managing operational systems to the legal issues raised by the pandemic. Good management practices also mean that building managers require contingency plans that can be rapidly implemented if an outbreak or a proliferation of new cases were to occur in their buildings."
She concluded by saying that "We look forward to the reopening of buildings across Quebec, as they are important symbols of economic vitality. We actively encourage building owners and managers, as well as businesses renting space in their buildings, to do their utmost to ensure a responsible and long-lasting resumption of activities. Our industry has been preparing for weeks for this announcement. Not only are we ready, but we are also very eager to see our buildings come back to life."
- To listen (or listen once again) to the government announcement of July 15, 2020: https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1719859/reouverture-bureaux-immeubles-montreal-quebec-pandemie
About BOMA Quebec (boma-quebec.org)
BOMA Quebec is the largest association of commercial property owners and managers in the province, and its members own or manage 85% of Class A office buildings in Quebec. A leader in the sector since its inception in 1927, BOMA Quebec has developed a reputation for excellence in property management and for increasing the value of real estate assets. The Association encourages effective, efficient and responsible building management, notably with BOMA BEST®, its avant-garde environmental certification program now recognized throughout the industry.
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BOMA Québec | boma-quebec.org
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