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Canada sets aside $50 million to allow temporary foreign workers get through the self-isolation period

This crucial funding will be helpful to the Canadian employers in implementing the mandatory 14-day isolation period meant for all travellers coming from abroad.

Canadian Government has decided to provide funding to the Canadian employers with foreign workers to enable them implement the mandatory coronavirus measures for new arrivals from abroad.

This $50 million fund is intended to assist employers comply with the current health regulations and protect foreign workers during their 2-week quarantine period.

Employers and temporary foreign workers both have the responsibility to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. Work permit holders with integral role in the food sector have been allowed to enter Canada.

As is the requirement for all new travellers to Canada, foreign workers are required to mandatorily isolate or quarantine for 14 days soon after they reach the Port of Entry. The Canadian government has started strengthening the measure from April 15th. All returning travellers who are asymptomatic and don’t have a credible quarantine plan, will be required to spend the 2-week quarantine period in a hotel.

The responsibility of providing food, accommodation, transportation and access to basic sanitation supplies to workers rests with the employers.

In order to fully meet the public health requirements, the government will be providing employers up to $1,500 for each temporary foreign worker. This government funding is strictly conditional on employers not being found in violation of the 14-day quarantine protocol or any other public health order. This program is valid for as long as the Quarantine Act is in force and the isolation protocol is followed.

There is a provision of fine, jail term or both for employers and workers who are found to be non-compliant.

Notably, there was a significant labour shortage in the food sector before the Coronavirus crisis began. Now the sector is facing an even serious challenge. Every year, about 60,000 foreign workers join the Canadian agricultural sector. Despite that approximately 15,000 job positions go vacant.

Notably, the fish, seafood, meat processing plants, along with the fruit and vegetable farms rely on temporary foreign workers to meet their labour requirements.

In the Canadian agricultural sector, foreign workers account for more than 60 per cent of all those who enter Canada through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Canada assured in a press release that the immigration ministry will work with farmers and food processing employers to ensure that their labour requirements are met, apart from having plans in place to meet mandatory isolation requirements. He also acknowledged that temporary foreign workers have long been the key to the Canadian food supply chain.

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