2020/11/16 COVID-19 Update: Agri-food Prevention and Control Strategy, OGVG PPE, Federal updates

by Nathan Couvillon

Attachments:

Consultation Backgrounder with Questions_Public.pdf

Annex A-Proposed Minimum Accommodation Requirements.pdf

2020 TFW Housing Survey.pdf

2020 ESDC Questionnaire template – Proposed Minimum Housing Standards.docx

PPE poster3 copy.pdf

Q & As from from Stakeholders – BILINGUAL.pdf


Dear OGVG Member:

NEW: Joint OMAFRA-Industry Prevention and Control Strategy

Today OMAFRA in partnership with the agri-food sector announced their prevention and control strategy. Please see the following for the strategy and an update to the agri-food COVID-19 toolbox.

https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/59219/ontario-protecting-agri-food-workers-and-food-supply-chain


NEW: OGVG PPE

Please see the attached flyer for the available PPE resources from OGVG.


NEW: Federal Update

The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Resources (CCOHS) recently released new guidance material on COVID-19 Prevention for Workers, which includes information on what workers can do to protect themselves and others from COVID 19, and the rights and responsibilities of workers when it comes to health and safety in the workplace.  As a reminder, CCOHS has a lot of valuable information available online. This includes a customizable tool kit and access to more than 40 free resources, including a COVID-19: Workplace Health and Safety Guide, and Tip Sheets specific to Agriculture and Food Processing. The Tool Kit option allows workplaces to download the guide on its own or bundle other industry and workplace-specific tip sheets, infographics, and posters to create a customized and comprehensive COVID-19 tool kit tailored to their industry or specific workplace needs.

Lastly, attached is a question and answer document from Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) with some questions and answers in follow-up to some outstanding questions from previous industry calls.


REMINDER: University of Guelph Research Project: COVID-19 and the Future of Ontario’s Agricultural Workforce

COVID-19 created a significant impact on agricultural operations in Ontario. To better understand the impacts researchers at the University of Guelph are searching for participants in a study about the impact of COVID-19 on Ontario farms employing international labour through the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) or Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) agricultural stream. If you employ workers through either of these programs, we would like to hear from you about the impact of COVID-19 on your business and how you have adapted for a post-pandemic world. This will help us to create policy recommendations that will strengthen the agricultural sector by improving access to a safe and dependable workforce.

If you wish share your perspectives, please contact Louis Helps (whelps@uoguelph.ca). We will then arrange a time to connect for an interview of approximately 45-60 minutes. Information collected through the interviews will be confidential; your name and business will not be identified in any of the research results. Researchers are also interested in speaking with SAWP and TFW employees. Please feel free to pass along this invitation to them. More information about this initiative can be found at http://ruraldev.ca/covid19workforce/.


REMINDER: Federal TFWP Housing Reform Consultation Template and Correction

As announced last week, the federal government in consulting on proposed minimum standards for TFW housing (see attached ‘Consultation Backgrounder with Questions_Public.pdf’). We are urging all growers to get involved directly in this consultation. Responses are due by December 22.

There are two opportunities for input

  1. Complete the survey sent via email to you by ESDC on existing housing stock (example survey attached ‘2020 TFW Housing Survey.pdf’). If you are an employer of temporary foreign workers and have NOT received the survey, please email NC-TFWP-APT-PTET-EPA-GD@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca
  2. Complete the attached questionnaire in response to the proposed minimum housing requirements. (attached ‘Annex A-Proposed Minimum Accommodation Requirements.pdf’). Feel free to use the word document attached to draft and submit your comments directly to ESDC

Information about this consultation is publicly available on the Consulting with Canadians website: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/temporary-foreign-worker/consultation-accommodations.html.

Lastly, we received a correction on requirements for mattresses in sleeping quarters.

  • All beds must consist of a proper bed base/frame at least 20 cm (7.87 inches) off the floor, a clean pillow, a clean, supportive mattress of sound construction with a minimum width of 38” (95.6 cm), a minimum length of 75” (190.5 cm), and a minimum height of 25 cm.

NOTE: We will be discussing the ‘Adequacy of Proposed Requirements’ and ‘Public Health Considerations’ questions on this week’s COVID Webinar on Friday, Nov. 20th

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