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Temporary farm worker dies on Ontario farm

Temporary farm worker dies on Ontario farm

After accidental death of migrant farm worker operating heavy machinery at a southern Ontario farm, worker advocate calls for full and permanent immigration status.

By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com; Photo by Adele Payman on Unsplash

After a migrant farm labourer died during the operation of heavy equipment at a south Ontario farm on August 14, 2022, advocates are calling for a review of migrant worker conditions.

Garvin Yapp, 57, of Jamaica, was fatally injured during the operation of farm equipment at the VanBerlo farm in Norfolk County.

Yapp was no stranger to the VanBerlo farm, having travelled to farms in Canada for 35 years. Yapp was more than a worker, according to a statement from the VanBerlo family, he was a friend who allowed the farm owner to vacation at his home in Jamaica.

In a statement from the VanBerlo lawyer, it said that the family has cooperated fully with the Ministry of Labour investigation, and offered their condolences to Yapps family in Canada and Jamaica.

According to a media release from Jamaica, Yapp participated in the country’s Ministry of Labour and Social Security’s farm work program in Canada.

However, advocates are concerned, and believe the Canadian migrant worker employment program is in need of a major revamp to prevent more preventable deaths.

One of the questions, according to the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, is whether there will be any financial compensation for the Yapp family.

The alliance’s Executive Director Syed Hussan said that the fatally is just one reason why the foreign worker system needs adjustment, and why those workers should receive full and permanent immigration status.

If something positive can come from the tragic death of Garvin Yapp—whatever it is. Good. Still, two devastated families.


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