Canada and Ontario Take Steps to Further Protect Farm Workers

Published on May 14, 2020

Funding will help enhance health and safety measures in Mississauga during COVID-19

MISSISSAUGA — The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $2.25 million to help farmers in Mississauga better protect employees and ensure the continued supply of healthy food products for consumers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), the federal and provincial governments are launching the second intake of the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program to help farmers enhance health and safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus. The funding will be used for initiatives like purchasing personal protective equipment, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, and redesigning workstations.

Support is also available for farmers who experience unexpected costs for housing and transportation as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak among on-farm employees.

“This investment is an important addition to the support our government is providing to the agri-food sector,” said Rudy Cuzzetto, MPP for Mississauga-Lakeshore. “It will help to ensure that all Ontarians can continue to have access to high-quality, nutritious food at this very difficult time.”

“Our farmers and their hard-working employees play a critical role in keeping our food supply chain strong, providing us with fresh, high-quality and nutritious food,” said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Today’s announcement is an important step in keeping our essential workers healthy and safe during the COVID-19 outbreak and beyond.”

The funding for on-farm worker safety is in addition to the $2.25 million investment recently announced to help provincially-licensed meat processors implement COVID-19 health and safety measures.

The Agri-food Workplace Protection Program builds on previous actions taken by the federal and provincial government to support the agri-food sector. These include $1 million to help Ontario farmers, food processors and other agri-food supply chain partners address labour shortages, as well as $2.5 million to improve e-business opportunities for Ontario’s agri-food sector.

Since June 2018, both the federal and provincial governments have committed support to approximately 2,500 projects through the Partnership to help eligible Ontario farmers, processors, businesses and sector organizations innovate and grow.

 

Quick Facts

  • More information about this targeted intake and other cost-share funding opportunities can be found online or by calling 1-877-424-1300.
  • OMAFRA delivers cost-share funding for the Agri-food Workplace and Protection Program. The Partnership is a five-year, $3-billion commitment by Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments to support Canada's agri-food and agri-products sectors.
  • The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development recently released safety guidelines for employers to help protect workers, customers, and the general public from COVID-19.
  • Health and Safety inspectors are now working with employers in the agri-food sector to help ensure the safety of employees, including temporary foreign workers.
  • The Canadian Food Inspection Agency provides information on COVID-19 for industry.

 

Additional Resources

 

Contact

Office of Rudy Cuzzetto, MPP
Mississauga-Lakeshore
(905) 274-8228