Ottawa ‘remotely’ inspected Ontario farms while COVID-19 infected hundreds of migrant workers

The Ontario towns of Leamington and Kingsville have some of the highest rates of COVID-19 infection in Canada with large outbreaks on farms and in greenhouses. 
Ousama Farag/CBC

Date of Publication: July 1, 2020

Source: CBC

Rather than physically inspecting farms that employ migrant workers during the pandemic, the Canadian government has been conducting mostly remote inspections. Three migrant workers have died and there have been numerous COVID-19 outbreaks among migrant workers, the majority occurring in the Windsor area. Ottawa has confirmed that some in-person inspections started last week in the Windsor area, but advocates say this is too little too late. Ottawa is responsible for monitoring living conditions for the workers and ensuring that farms comply with immigration rules that govern the workers’ contracts. The Canadian government has mandated that employers pay workers during their quarantine period as well as allow workers to stay in isolation for the entire two week period. The Migrant Workers Alliance for Change has documented inadequate housing for migrant workers and said that some workers were not being paid during the quarantine period.

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Summary by: Christina Blagojevic