Canada extends help to farmers

The federal government has extended a program to help employers in the farming, fish harvesting and food production sectors with some of the costs associated with protecting the health and safety of temporary foreign workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program is being extended to Nov. 30, the same date that the Quarantine Act has been extended to, according to a news release.

The $50-million program helps employers with some of the costs incurred to support the safety and health of foreign workers during the 14-day mandatory quarantine period they must undergo upon arriving in Canada as per the Quarantine Act.

Through the program, Ottawa will provide a maximum support of $1,500 for each temporary foreign worker, to employers who are required to isolate workers under the Quarantine Act.

"Producers and processors across the country rely on experienced migrant workers to ensure a stable, nutritious and affordable food supply for Canadians," federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said in the release.

"This pandemic has put additional strains on growers and processors, and our Government will continue to support them in these challenging times." 

Each year, about 50,000 to 60,000 foreign agricultural, food and fish processing workers come to work in Canada each year. About 2.6 per cent of foreign workers who work on farms are located in Nova Scotia. 

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