November 29th, 2020

Migrant worker groups critical of Ontario’s new farm outbreak plan

By The Canadian Press on November 17, 2020.

TORONTO – Migrant worker advocacy groups say a new strategy aimed at preventing COVID-19 outbreaks on Ontario farms does not go far enough to protect vulnerable employees.

Both the Migrant Workers Alliance and Justice for Migrant workers say the strategy unveiled Monday does not mandate key safety requirements like physical distancing or build in enforcement mechanisms.

They say the strategy was developed by the province and farmers without consultation with workers.

Agriculture Minister Ernie Hardeman said Monday that the strategy will help prevent COVID-19 outbreaks on farms ahead of the 2021 growing season.

The province and federal government will direct millions in new funding to farms for infection control, screening, and equipment costs under the plan.

The move comes after hundreds of migrant workers across the province contracted the virus last spring, highlighting problems with their living and working conditions.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 17, 2020.

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