Coronavirus: B.C. says it will oversee quarantine of temporary foreign workers

Agricultural producers in B.C. are breathing a sigh of relief this week after the federal government doled out a $50 million COVID-19 lifeline to the industry on Monday.

“Yesterday was the first day that I kinda of felt optimistic with our farming situation since this crisis began,” said B.C. Cherry Growers Association president Suhkpaul Bal.

The money is meant to help ensure that Canadians have access to high-quality food at a reasonable price.

It will provide agricultural employers with $1,500 per foreign worker, to help cover quarantine costs upon arrival in Canada.

“I’m very pleased that the government stepped and put forward that funding,” said Bal.

It’s a major shot in the arm for the industry that will act as a much-needed boost to the Canadian food chain’s immunity against the coronavirus crisis.

“It takes a lot of the risk out of getting the workers here, a lot of the unknowns, so it’s seen as a very positive announcement,” said Glen Lucas, president of the B.C. Fruit Growers Association.

On Tuesday, there was more good news for agricultural producers in B.C. who depend upon 10,000 seasonal workers to get their product to market.

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The provincial minister of agricultural says B.C. will now be responsible for quarantining new foreign workers who intend to work here.

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