Canadian authorities are working to limit the spread of the coronavirus among migrant farmworkers by rethinking shared services and issuing new preventive measures to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 for the next year’s planting season.
Canadian authorities are working to limit the spread of the coronavirus among migrant farmworkers by rethinking shared services and issuing new preventive measures to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 for the next year’s planting season. The government of Canada began discussions about how mutual bunkhouses hosting the majority of foreign workers could be made more protected and appealing to overseas workers in the country’s vineyards.
Ontario recently released a strategy to moderate and control the virus outbreaks. According to the local CBC, many workers died from complications related to COVID-19. And hundreds still being in isolation as the virus largely spread among the farms. Last month, 40 workers from an apple farm in southwestern Ontario. Over 20,000 foreign workers are employed in this area every year. Syndicates estimated 1,800 of them were infected by the coronavirus from the beginning of the pandemic.“
Syed Hassan, executive director of the Migrant Workers Alliance, said that migrant farm workers have, for many decades, pointed out how awful their housing situation is. He added that the priority now is to make sure that the federal government acts to make migrant workers voices and opinions the central determinant of what happens going forward.
BREAKING: Migrant farmworkers win against multi-million dollar mega farm in historic first case!— Migrant Workers Alliance for Change (@MWACCanada) November 12, 2020
But we need systemic change. Call on PM @JustinTrudeau to ensure #StatusforAll.
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The group is insisting with local authorities that housing changes are important, as well as a fundamental overhaul of the system, starting with full and permanent immigration status for all. Hassan affirmed that migrant workers in the farms climb on top of each other just to go to sleep. He denounced that during the COVID-19 pandemic, migrant workers had no access to clean bathrooms, there was no space for people to collect their food, and no privacy.
Workers Unions are asking the Canadian federal government to intervene immediately, guaranteeing testing and making sure that personal protection tools, as facial masks and glows, are available for foreign farmworkers.