Quebec’s agriculture has seen a huge dip in wake of COVID-19
Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced an investment of $7.5 million under the Emergency On-Farm Support Fund to help Quebec farmers better protect the health and safety of farm workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This measure will be administered by La Financiere Agricole du Quebec (FADQ).
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.
the government plans to accept applications through La Financiere agricole from December 14, 2020, to February 26, 2021. The financial assistance consists of a lump sum of up to 2% of salaries or 50% of eligible expenses declared by the farm. The financial assistance can be increased to 2.4% of salaries or to 60% of eligible expenses when the business is majority owned by women, young farmers under 40, people with disabilities, members of visible minorities or Indigenous peoples, as the Government of Canada encourages and empowers under-represented groups in the agriculture sector.
“Everyone needs to feel safe and supported when they go to work. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting the health of all farm workers who are working hard to feed Canadians has been a top priority. With this program, Quebec farmers will have the support they need to ensure the right measures are in place to safeguard their employees’ health and safety and limit the spread of the virus.” The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
The Emergency On-Farm Support Fund provides a $35 million investment across Canada to improve health and safety on farms and in employee living quarters to prevent and respond to the spread of COVID-19.
The creation of this fund was first announced by Minister Bibeau and Minister Qualtrough on July 31, 2020, along with increased supports to temporary foreign workers, strengthened employer inspections regime, and the development of improved employer-provided living accommodation requirements.
As part of its actions to protect the health and safety of foreign workers, the Government of Canada has been working with provinces and territories, as well as a range of partners and stakeholders, to ensure employers and temporary foreign workers are aware of their obligations and respect the rules in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.