Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Some foreign worker rules clarified

 The federal government has clarified the rules for temporary foreign workers arriving in Canada, but many of the protocols on farms remain to be worked out.

After March 21, asymptomatic temporary foreign workers will be able to travel directly to their place of quarantine after getting a COVID-19 test at the airport provided they travel by private transportation and are accompanied only by others who travelled with them to Canada.

Those who will need to travel by public means to a secondary location upon arrival in Canada will be required to stay in a government-authorized accommodation and await the results of their COVID-19 test. 

Provided they have a suitable quarantine plan and safe transportation arranged to their place of quarantine, the government intends to ensure employers and temporary foreign workers will not assume incremental costs associated with the three-day quarantine requirement at the point of entry.

Workers will also be provided with supports on arrival and during their hotel stay, the government said.

Beyond the arrival plan, the federal officials are still pondering protocols.

They are still talking to the provinces to ensure employers are well prepared to safely welcome and quarantine workers.
They are increasing and strengthening inspections of employers in agriculture, to ensure they are meeting their quarantine obligations.
They are promising subsidies for organizations that provide direct assistance to workers affected by COVID-19.
They manning tip lines with agents able to offer services in multiple languages to help workers better communicate situations of mistreatment or abuse, and providing additional education for workers about their rights

About 40 per cent of the 50,000 to 60,000 foreign agricultural workers coming to Canada work in Ontario.