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Canada and Nova Scotia Launch $1M Program to Protect Farm Workers

Halifax, Nova Scotia – The governments of Canada and Nova Scotia have reached a new agreement that will see the Government of Canada invest $983,500, for a total of up to $1,229,375 available funding, under the Emergency On-Farm Support Fund to protect farm workers in Nova Scotia. The federal funding will be delivered by the Nova Scotia’s Department of Agriculture.
 
Many Nova Scotia farmers are making improvements to health and safety measures to help protect all their workers, domestic and temporary foreign workers, and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their agricultural operations. They can now apply for funding to help cover some of these costs.
 
Applications are now open under the program for up to 75 per cent of eligible project costs, up to a maximum of $50,000. Eligible activities include direct infrastructure improvements to living quarters and work stations, temporary or emergency housing (on or off-farm), as well as personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitary stations, work stations and any other health and safety measures that safeguard the health and safety of Canadian and temporary foreign workers from COVID-19. Expenses can be retroactive to March 15, 2020 and must be completed by February 26, 2021.
 
Farmers seeking to apply for funding must do so before Dec 31 2020 by going to https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/emergency-on-farm-support-fund-program/.
 
In addition to the Emergency On-Farm Support Fund, there are a range of other programs available to support famers and food producers through these challenging times:
  • The Emergency Processing Fund (EPF) is a one-time, federal investment of up to $77.5 million to help companies implement changes to safeguard the health and safety of workers and their families due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund also aims to aid companies to invest to improve, automate and modernize facilities needed to increase Canada’s food supply capacity.
  • Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program to help cover the costs associated with the mandatory 14-day isolation period.
  • A COVID-19 Response and Mitigation Program to help food producers with the costs of meeting extra health requirements due to COVID-19; help producers get their crops to market; fund projects aimed at maintaining competitiveness, productivity, and profitability; and, support abattoir efficiency and development.
  • Increased the 2020 AgriStability interim benefit payment percentage from 50 to 75 per cent for producers.
  • Enhanced AgriInsurance coverage to include labour shortages due to COVID-19 during the 2020 growing season.
This added funding for enhanced worker and workplace safety builds on government actions taken this year to support Nova Scotia farms and other agri-food sector businesses.
Source : Government of Canada