Farm workers foreigners infected on their arrival in Quebec

Des ouvriers agricoles étrangers infectés à leur arrivée au Québec

“Serious, “”tragic, “” out of control “… FARM warns of the “serious risk” of resorting to foreign workers in an e-mail explosive sent to farmers, which The Journal has obtained a copy.

“Given the recent deterioration of the situation in Mexico and Guatemala, the workers coming to work exposes you to serious risks and additional health, whether it be yours, your family or your current employees, and even your business (risks for the maintenance of the production) “, we read in an email of 9 July, signed by the deputy director general of the Fondation des Entreprises en Recrutement de Main-d’oeuvre agricole Étrangère (FERME), Natalie Pouliot.

In recent days, more than 70 foreign workers were declared positive, and it is increasingly difficult to know if the workers who arrive here are infected or not.

“The case of COVID-19 have won the cohorts of workers. In the last flights, the workers arrive here infected. The employers concerned have been notified. At the airport of Guatemala, in the last few days, workers have been detected as carriers of the virus, “stresses Natalie Pouliot FARM in his message titled “HIGH IMPORTANCE” in large letters.

In the Face of the magnitude of the crisis “tragic and out of control” in these countries, FARM, who provided this foreign labour to our farmers, now advises farmers to” develop alternative plans to address their needs of labour “.

“Be careful “

The Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA), it refuses to say whether it is better to stop to welcome these workers, in returning the ball to the health authorities of the country.

“I can’t say to the producers to close the valve because it is not under my authority. This is not me who can decide that. I tell them : “Be careful, strictly follow the rules laid down”, ” stressed to the Newspaper, its president, Marcel Groleau.

According to him, the situation was “under control” in April and may, but it has deteriorated because Mexico and Guatemala have experienced an outbreak of cases due to containment measures insufficient in these countries.

“The situation has been escaped. It has an impact on our business, “admitted the boss of the farmers’ union, Marcel Groleau.

In Agro Quebec, it was not ready more yesterday to close the door so quickly. “We need to test, test, test. They are not more dangerous than us. It is necessary to protect themselves first, ” said its CEO, André Michaud.

CONFIRMED CASES TO 21 JULY

  • Montérégie: 26
  • Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean: 21
  • Chaudière-Appalaches: 15
  • Estrie: 5
  • Capitale-Nationale: 2

TOTAL: 69

* The regions of Côte-Nord and Lanaudière each have less than five confirmed cases, but we do not know their exact number.

Source : ministry of Health and social Services of Quebec

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