18 July 2008

Distinct Society Lesson #3: Construction Holiday

Yes, we've seen National Moving Day and, thanks to Brian, we have underlined the advent of the evil yellow margarine.

Now let's have a look at this week's lesson: the annual two week construction holiday!

Yes, each year during the last two weeks of July, most construction sites grind to a halt and the whole force of people working in construction go on holiday. Traffic becomes distinctly lighter in the city (but heavier on the highways for the days at the beginning and end of this period), campgrounds are full all over the province (and over the borders into Ontario, New Brunswick and into New England) and — who could doubt it — the price of gas mysteriously rises.

This lovely tradition apparently dates back to the 1970's, when our government moved to make uniform the working conditions in the industry. In the interest of safety, it is better to have two weeks of no construction work than many weeks of construction with suboptimal numbers of workers as they try to take vacations in a staggered manner.
Of course, there are exceptions, and various road projects and other things considered vital get exemptions from the period, allowing them to keep their workers on the job. But you can pretty much forget about that deck you were hoping to build, unless you are doing it on your own. Even then, inspectors will probably stop by to make sure you are not breaking the rules…

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