One of the largest developers in the Greater Toronto Area is under fire after photos and videos emerged showing a stripper engaging with workers associated with one of its drywall contractors at a job site earlier this month.

Mattamy Homes confirmed to STOREYS it was aware of the "extremely inappropriate and entirely unacceptable incident" that took place on Friday, April 9 at home under construction on one of its job sites.

The developer said the incident involved an employee and subcontractors with one of its trade partners, Nelmar Drywall.

Photos and videos circulating online show a woman interacting with a number of men -- one of whom is wearing a Nelmar Drywall Co Ltd shirt -- at a construction site. No one seen is wearing a mask or social distancing and a bottle of Grey Goose vodka can also be seen.

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"We hold our trade partners to a high standard and insist that they conduct themselves professionally and ethically," Mattamy Homes said in a statement.

"Those standards were not met in this case, and the individuals in question behaved in a grossly inappropriate and reckless fashion," reads the statement.

According to Mattamy Homes, Nelmar has terminated their relationship with everyone involved in the incident.

"This is a measure that we fully support," said the developer.

Representatives of Nelmar Drywall Co. Ltd. told STOREYS the drywall company is aware that a video and various images are being circulated depicting "certain inappropriate and completely unacceptable conduct that took place within the last week at a job site," which Nelmar "wholeheartedly denounces."

Prior to the circulation of the video and images, Nelmar was completely unaware of the incident, lawyers said in an emailed statement.

"The conduct displayed in the Subject Video/Images is in violation of Nelmar’s code of conduct and company policies in relation to health and safety, COVID-19 protocols, workplace anti-discrimination and anti-harassment, as well as its general company philosophy and values," reads the statement.

"Upon being made aware of the incident, Nelmar took immediate steps to investigate the matter to determine the identity of all those individuals involved. Nelmar has terminated the employment of all persons involved in the incident depicted in the Subject Video/Images," the statement says.

The lawyers also said that while this incident is known to have happened at a Mattamy Homes' project, it should be known that neither Mattamy Homes nor any of its employees had any involvement in nor any knowledge of the conduct depicted in the video and images.

"Therefore, Mattamy Homes is not responsible for the incident," reads the statement.

"The senior management of Nelmar remains committed to taking any and all further steps
it deems necessary," the statement says.

This includes additional workplace training, increased monitoring, and communication to prevent any such conduct at Nelmar's job sites or workplace in the future.

Following the incident, the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON), which is the province’s leading association of residential builders, said it's appalled that several male workers associated with a drywall contractor had a stripper at a GTA job site in the middle of the pandemic.

"This is shocking, unacceptable and repulsive behaviour and simply degrading to women. We denounce the conduct and actions of these men in the strongest terms. RESCON has always stood up for the rights of women. We have also been working to promote the construction industry as a viable career path for women. This type of conduct has no place on construction sites and won’t be tolerated," reads a statement from RESCON.

“This type of activity is shameful, abhorrent and demeaning to women,” says Amina Dibe, manager of government and stakeholder relations at RESCON.

“We are trying to attract more women and youth to the industry and an action like this only serves as a deterrent. It is unacceptable behaviour and only reinforces the stereotype of construction being a male-dominated and misogynistic industry. We have made great progress in improving the culture of construction to make it safe and welcoming for women. We’ve taken two steps forward, but this incident sets us back and we must do better,” said Dibe.

“These disgusting and inappropriate actions are also an afront to every health and safety professional, the medical community, and broader construction industry which has made sacrifices and worked tirelessly over the past year to comply with COVID-19 protocols, regulations and best practices,” notes RESCON VP Andrew Pariser who is chair of the organization’s health and safety committee.

“The construction industry as a whole demands and expects better. These actions are clear breaches of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and violate the culture of safety that the construction industry strives to create, maintain and promote,” said Pariser.

"Construction needs to be better, collectively as an industry, and at all levels."

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