The Government of Canada is committed to reducing the effect of COVID-19 on temporary foreign workers, a statement said
By Jackie Clark
Employment of Social Development Canada recently announced an additional $58.6 million of funding to enhance protections for Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program participants in the face of COVID-19.
“The Government is strengthening the TFW Program and making further investments to safeguard the health and safety of Canadian and temporary foreign workers from COVID-19,” said a July 31 statement from Employment and Social Development Canada.
The bulk of the funding, $35 million, will be dedicated to cost-sharing opportunities for employers wishing to make “direct infrastructure improvements to living quarters, temporary or emergency housing (on- or off-farm), as well as PPE, sanitary stations, and any other health and safety measures,” the statement said.
Another $16.2 million will be invested in improving inspection protocols and the process for handling tips on non-compliance with health and safety guidelines. Finally, $7.4 million will go toward providing support for TFW program participants, “including $6.0 million for direct outreach to workers delivered through migrant worker support organizations,” the statement said.
The federal government is consulting with relevant stakeholders, such as provincial and territorial governments, employers and workers, to develop mandatory requirements for worker accommodations. Officials are also collaborating with the Canadian Red Cross to continue to try to address the outbreak of COVID-19 among farm workers in Windsor-Essex.
Currently, Windsor-Essex has 350 active cases of COVID-19. Outbreaks exist at six agricultural workplaces in the region, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit said.
To read more details on how this funding will be administered, click here.