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Ontario producer group calls on government to continue funding support for worker quarantine costs

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The federal government introduced on Monday, June 21, the easing of some journey restrictions for absolutely vaccinated Canadians returning to Canada.

The Quarantine Act remains to be in impact nevertheless, requiring farm employees to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Canada. Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Affiliation (OFVGA) says that the necessities of the act, together with transportation, meals, wages, and lodging, value farmers between $1,750 and $3,125 per worker.

“The financial hit will cause significant economic hardship for growers who depend on international workers on a seasonal basis because of a chronic shortage of domestic agricultural labour in Canada. For some, it may be the last straw that makes them reconsider if it’s economically viable to continue producing the food we put on our tables,” says OFVGA, in a press launch.

The OFVGA says that in April 2020, the federal government introduced it might present farmers with up to $1,500 in aid for every non permanent overseas worker who efficiently completes the necessary quarantine to assist offset a portion of the related costs.

This spring, the government modified route on its dedication – months after most farmers had already made hiring preparations for their worldwide employees for the 2021 rising season, the OFVGA says.

As of June 16, the earlier reimbursement of up to $1,500 per worker in isolation shall be lower in half to a most of up to $750. The support program is scheduled to be eradicated completely as of August 31.

The OFVGA is just not asking for elevated funding, solely that the funding stay in place as long as the Quarantine Act is in impact.

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture has additionally introduced its support for OFVGA and its name for continued monetary support throughout enforcement of the Quarantine Act. “Farmers are committed to public safety, the safety of their workers and to abiding by all the public health safety measures that have been introduced throughout the pandemic. But if farmers are being mandated by the government to isolate their workers in the name of public safety, government should help cover those costs. We cannot ask farmers to sacrifice their livelihoods in order to protect us, especially when we rely on them to grow and raise the food we eat to live,” says Mary Robinson, president of CFA.

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