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Feds to fund quarantine of seasonal farm workers in Canada amid COVID-19

Coronavirus outbreak: Minister Bibeau announces $50m in healthcare measures for food supply chain workers
WATCH: Minister Bibeau announces $50m in healthcare measures for food supply chain workers

Canadian farmers and food processors will get $50 million in federal funding to ensure temporary foreign workers comply with mandatory COVID-19 quarantine.

Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced the money today, saying the workers are an essential part of keeping Canada’s food supply going.

READ MORE: Canada to allow seasonal foreign workers but they must self-isolate, minister says

The agriculture industry relies on thousands of temporary foreign workers each year to handle everything from planting crops to working in processing plants.

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But as part of broad public health initiatives to stall the spread of COVID-19, those workers must quarantine for 14 days when they arrive in Canada.

READ MORE: More temporary foreign workers test positive for coronavirus in West Kelowna

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Bibeau says the funds are meant to acknowledge that complying with those rules comes at a cost for business.

Coronavirus outbreak: Freeland stresses foreign workers are tested and must quarantine on entering Canada
Coronavirus outbreak: Freeland stresses foreign workers are tested and must quarantine on entering Canada

She says the $1,500 per worker can be used to offset their salaries, or supply appropriate accommodation for the quarantine period.