$35 million emergency COVID funding will provide PPE, translation services to farms with Temporary Foreign Workers

$35 million emergency COVID funding will provide PPE, translation services to farms with Temporary Foreign Workers

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has released details on their $35 million Emergency On-Farm Support Fund, aimed as supporting farmers shoulder the cost of additional expenses related to COVID-19 safety standards.

Eligible recipients are “primary Canadian agricultural producers” excluding aquaculture which “produce agricultural products for resale and employ farm workers, either domestic and/or Temporary Foreign Workers.”

In select provinces, support funding will be doled out on a 50:50 cost shared ratio, up to a maximum of $100,000 — unless you are a woman, or a youth.

The federal government will provide half of the cost of implementing the safety measures, while the applicant provides the remaining half.

For farms owned primarily by women and youth owners, the federal government will cover 60% of the costs with the applicant providing the remainder.

Rebel News reached out to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for clarity on whether a farmer who identifies as a women is eligible for the funding increase. The request has been escalated and a representative of Agriculture Canada will respond in the next three business days with an answer.

*Agriculture Canada responded on October 6, and said that the eligibility “For farms owned primarily by women and youth owners, the federal government will cover 60% of the costs with the applicant providing the remainder,” did in fact apply to “anyone who identifies as a woman.”

Funding is reserved for select eligible activities, including:

  • On-farm retrofits to allow for physical distancing
  • Additional transportation costs “to and from employer provided housing and job-sites” to maintain physical distancing.
  • Personal protective equipment including masks, hand sanitizer, face shields and temperature checks.
  • Interpretation services associated with training on COVID-19 protocols.

At the time of this funding announcement, which includes support for producers hiring Temporary Foreign Workers, Canada's unemployment rate is approximately 10.2 per cent.