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Health and safety for Ontario agri-food sector getting $26M funding boost

Reference: CTV News

WINDSOR, ONT. -- More funding is being put towards increasing health and safety measures for farms and farm workers in Ontario, according to government officials.

The federal and provincial governments are investing $26.6 million for the agri-food sector during the COVID-19 outbreak.

"Protecting the health and well-being of all farm workers who are helping ensure the food security for Canadians has been a top priority since the beginning of the pandemic," said Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. "We will continue to provide Ontario farmers with the support they need to ensure the right measures are in place to safeguard their employees and limit the spread of the virus."

A new agreement between Ontario and the federal government will see Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada invest an additional $11.6 million to help support efforts by Ontario producers to stop the spread of COVID-19 on their farms.

Some of the actions include building physical barriers for worker separation, upgrading HVAC systems and enhancing hand-washing facilities will be eligible for this funding.

The federal funding that will be delivered by Ontario is in addition to the Ontario government's commitment in June of up to $15 million to support workplace safety enhancements in the sector through the Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program.

"We're committed to ensuring farm workers can do their jobs safely, and that they are able to continue to provide Ontario families with safe, high-quality food," said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "Ontario's agri-food businesses and their hardworking employees play a critical role in keeping our food supply chain strong and we're doing everything we can to help support them."... Read More