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Government of Canada invests $4.9 million to further protect British Columbia farm workers during COVID-19

October 27, 2020 – Vancouver, British Columbia – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

The Government of Canada recognizes the critical role of the food supply chain and is committed to improving the safety of these workplaces.

Today, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced an investment of $4.9 million under the Emergency On-Farm Support Fund to help British Columbia (B.C.) farmers better protect the health and safety of farm workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This federal funding will be delivered by Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia (IAF).

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.

Applications will be accepted through IAF’s portal from October 27, 2020 to November 17, 2020. Contributions under the program will be cost-shared 50:50 with the applicants, up to $100,000. An additional 10 per cent will be provided to women, youth, visible minorities, Indigenous Peoples, and Persons with disabilities, amounting to a 60:40 split as the Government of Canada promotes and empowers underrepresented groups in the agricultural sector.

The IAF will deliver the program under two streams. Stream one will be available for recipients looking for reimbursements of already incurred costs whereas stream two targets recipients who are looking to undertake future projects. A flexible framework will help assess applications, considering the risk to the applicants’ workers.

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