July 6th, 2020

Horwath wants farm workers to isolate with pay when sick

QUEEN’S PARK – During question period today, Official Opposition NDP Leader Andrea Horwath called on Premier Doug Ford to put a stop to his controversial plan to allow asymptomatic COVID-19-positive migrant farm workers back on the job.

“Forcing migrant workers to work with COVID-19 is inhumane and will make the crisis worse,” Horwath said. “Invest in the resources required to ensure that workers have proper sick pay, safe accommodation and that farmers have the support they need to ensure harvests are not lost. That’s the only way to stop the spread and help these communities recover.”

Last week, Ford falsely claimed that migrant farm workers have been hiding from testing. While farm outbreaks in Windsor-Essex have prevented two communities from entering Stage Two of the re-opening, Ford has blamed migrant workers, public officials, and farmers, and now continues to mislead workers and farmers by suggesting that workers will continue to be paid if they have to self-isolate. The majority of workers will not be paid under the current system, which also fails to protect farmers from critical labour shortages.

“Unlike other provincial governments, the Ford government failed to take pro-active measures to ensure these workers and these communities would be protected,” said Horwath. “Health experts have been clear that these workers should not be told to keep working when they’re sick. No one should.”