Federal government announces $1,500 for each temporary foreign worker
April 13, 2020 By Greenhouse Canada
The federal government has announced $1,500 in financial support for each temporary foreign worker arriving from abroad.
This funding will be given to employers to help ensure that the 14-day isolation protocols are met. According to the release, employers must not be found in violation of the isolation protocols or any other public health order.
This amounts to $50 million in federal funding.
“Before the pandemic, the food sector was already challenged by significant labour shortages and it is anticipated there will be even more jobs to fill, requiring a variety of skills,” says the release. “In many regions across Canada, producing a variety of quality foods to be sold at affordable prices relies upon the contributions of experienced temporary foreign workers right from planting season to harvest—particularly for fresh fruits and vegetables. Fish, seafood and meat processing plants are also reliant on the addition of these workers.”
Employers who do not comply with, or prevent compliance with the isolation protocols will face severe penalties and may be banned from the TFW program in the future. Employers must also provide workers with transportation, accommodations and access to food and basic supplies during isolation.
“Temporary foreign workers have been an integral part of the Canadian workforce and food supply chain for decades. Today’s announcement will help to protect the health of Canadians, while ensuring a steady labour supply to support our economy and ensure our food security during these extraordinary times. There will always be jobs for Canadians who want to work and support these sectors,” notes Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion.
According to the release, approximately 50,000 to 60,000 foreign agricultural, food and fish processing workers come to work in Canada each year, accounting for over 60% of all foreign workers entering Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Around 15,000 jobs still remain vacant annually.
Update: Details are still being worked out on how the funds will be administered to farms. More details to come when they are available.
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