2020/12/21 COVID-19 Update: CAHRC AgriHR Toolkit; Canada Summer Jobs; Open Work Permits; PHAC Awareness Toolkit; Funding; MoL video resources; PPE & Holiday Updates

by Nathan Couvillon


COVID 19 -Awareness-Toolkit – BIL.pdf

PPE poster3 copy.pdf

Dear OGVG Member:

Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) AgriHR Toolkit 

Through the Canadian Horticultural Council’s partnership with the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council our members have free access to the AgriHR Toolkit. This resource is designed to address the unique needs of the agriculture industry. Based on years of research and field testing conducted in Canada and internationally, this toolkit offers everything you need to improve your people-management skills and develop key resources to help you find, retain, and support your employees. All you need to access the AgriHR Toolkit is to set up an account, using the Coupon Code: HORTtoolkit.

Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) 2021 Employer Application Process Launches today!

Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, announced that up to 120,000 job opportunities will be available to young Canadians through Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) in 2021. This represents a 50 percent increase from the 80,000 CSJ opportunities approved in 2020. With this significant increase, more employers and youth will be able to apply and benefit from the program. The employer application period begins today and will close on January 29, 2021. Not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers, and private-sector employers with 50 or fewer full-time employees can start preparing their applications now to hire a young Canadian.

Similar temporary flexibilities introduced for CSJ 2020 will be applied this year to help small businesses operate. These include:

  • a wage subsidy, so that private and public-sector employers can receive up to 75 percent of the provincial or territorial minimum hourly wage for each employee (not-for-profit organizations will continue to receive 100 percent);
  • an extension to the end date for employment to February 26, 2022; and
  • allowing employers to hire staff on a part-time basis

 View the full article here.

Tobago and Trinidad – Open Work Permits

The federal government is working directly with employees, employers and the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to ensure that the immigration status of affected workers is extended. In addition, the Government of Canada is ensuring workers are aware of the federal benefits available to them and helping them complete the necessary paperwork. Together with our federal partners, our government is taking action to help Trinidadian and Tobagonian workers by making funding available to assist farmers in providing housing, meals, winter clothing and other necessities. It will also provide funding for some communications, such as internet, to help workers contact their families as we approach the holidays.

To expedite payments, our two governments are working to add a targeted, special category of funding under the federal-provincial Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program that will help farmers cover incremental costs incurred to ensure the health and safety of stranded temporary foreign workers from Trinidad and Tobago.

Eligible expenses would include accommodations, meals, winter clothing, heaters, equipment, PPE, cleaning supplies, communications, and transportation costs. Following the extension of their immigration statuses by the federal government, we have also extended OHIP coverage to assist these workers.

Employers looking to access workers from Trinidad and Tobago that have been granted an open work permit, are encouraged to contact FARMS or the Services Canada Employer Contact Centre from Monday to Friday, between 7:00 am and 8:00 pm, Eastern Time, to get more information: 1-800-367-5693.

COVID-19 Awareness Toolkit – Public Health Agency of Canada

COVID-19 is a serious public health threat. Canadians need to continue to take simple steps to stay healthy and limit the spread of COVID-19. Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) have a number of resources available to help organizations help Canadians stay safe, healthy and informed.

Attached to this email is a COVID awareness toolkit developed by PHAC.  The resources in this toolkit are available at Canada.ca/coronavirus in a variety of languages. In addition, there is a toll free line at 1-833-784-4397 (interpretation services are available in multiple languages) should there be further questions.

REMINDER: Winsor-Essex County Health Unit updated Spanish videos

Please see the following links for some Ministry of Labour videos resources for your workforce. These have been translated into Spanish as well.  https://www.wechu.org/cv/additional-information-workers

REMINDER: COVID support funding overview and remaining funds

We have been advised that there are funds remaining in the following provincial programs. Please take advantage of these funds before the program closes.  

Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program: On October 13, 2020 the federal and provincial ministers of agriculture announced Ontario’s share of the federal emergency housing funding originally announced in July. This funding is being delivered in Ontario as part of the Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Program and the details of this funding have now been updated on OMAFRA’s website. There are a number of different streams of funding under this larger program, as detailed below. Eligible submissions for project costs incurred on or after March 15, 2020 are received and assessed on a continuous basis, while funding is available or until February 26, 2021.

1. On-Farm Worker Safety Improvement Program: Larger project funding (60% funding up to 100K per business/property for projects over $15,000)

Program Guide: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/about/agrifoodprogram_guide3.htm#cost

Application Form: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/about/agrifoodprogramfwsi.pdf

2. Occupational Health and Safety Measures: Projects to implement preventative health and safety measures (now up to $15,000 from previous $7,500)

Program Guide: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/about/agrifoodprogram_guide1-2.htm

Application form: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/about/agrifoodprogramohsm.pdf

3. Supports for extraordinary costs resulting from employees that test positive for COVID-19:

The Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program also provides funding support to eligible employers faced with extraordinary costs related to worker isolation and employee wage supports due to a positive COVID-19 test result.

More information: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/about/agrifoodprogramwwie.pdf

4. WSPS Funded Consulting and Training

Under this program, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is providing funding to Workplace Safety and Prevention Services to help farmers and other agri-food businesses provide safe workplace, and improve effective management of the risk of COVID-19 for:

  • Provincially regulated abattoirs and meat processing facilities
  • Agricultural producer operations such as farm, greenhouses and horticultural production operations, livestock production operations and field/cash crop production.

WSPS can help you understand the risks of COVID-19, improve management of the risks for farm operations and build capacity for the future through:

  • A pandemic recovery toolkit with measures and controls to manage COVID-19 risks
  • Awareness sessions specific to the subsector
  • Assistance in completing a pandemic response checklist
  • Conducting a pandemic response program gap analysis including an associated facility walkthrough and provision of a summary report
  • Preparing pandemic response procedures customized for the business including training
  • Conducting a pandemic response program audit including a summary report

Call 1-877-494-9777 to speak with a customer service representative or visit https://www.wsps.ca/Farm-Safety-Products/Seguridad-Agricola-Agricultural-Safety.aspx to learn more about these services.

Provincial Upcoming Funding – $25.5 million Agri-food Prevention and Control Innovation Program: Details will be released shortly on the funding announcement as part of the fall budget. We expect this funding will support workplace efficiency and employee protections. Ontario farmers get millions for COVID safety, robotics in budget: Hardeman | The Star

REMINDER: Looking for volunteers for OMAFRA’s antigen quick test pilot

OMAFRA in collaboration with Ontario Health is looking to run an antigen quick test pilot on-farm and is looking for volunteers. The tests will be free but need to be administered by a health care professional. We expect there will be some costs associated with this if you don’t have in-house staff with this designation. We expect the use case will be to test employees on a regular basis in order to quickly identify any potential positive cases before they spread to other employees. Please let me know directly if you are interested. (lee@ontariogreenhouse.com).


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

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