Ontario needs to protect migrant workers
January 29, 2021
TORONTO — Mike Schreiner provided the following statement on the Ford government’s recent announcement regarding agricultural inspections:
“In a few weeks, more than 2,000 migrant workers are expected to arrive in Ontario adding to the hundreds already here.
And while I welcome the Premier’s recent announcement to increase inspections of agricultural facilities, these measures are not enough to protect Ontario’s migrant workers.
It is once again a case of too little, too late.
Hundreds of migrant workers are already working in Ontario — including 700 in Windsor-Essex, where there are currently 13 active outbreaks in the agrifarm sector.
We need to treat migrant workers as the essential employees they are.
That means the government needs to step up to ensure that workers coming into Ontario are able to quarantine, that paid sick leave is in place, and that living and working conditions are safe, including support for farmers to upgrade bunkhouses.
I also ask the Premier: what is the plan to vaccinate Ontario’s migrant workers?
It is critical that the Ford government implement much-needed protections to ensure the health and safety of these workers and the communities they help.
The government cannot afford to make the same mistakes as last year that led to over 1,700 cases and three deaths among migrant workers in Ontario.”