Two young people of Quebec have decided to lend a hand to farmers, shortage of foreign labour this summer instead of crossing his arms, benefiting from the financial assistance from the federal government.
For Justin Lalande and Angelique Toupin, not a matter of spending the summer sitting with nothing to do. For the past month, they have chosen to collect asparagus at the farm Primera, in Lanaudière, rather than touch Delivery canadian emergency for students (PCUE).
“I was tired of being at home and I wanted to get out and see something else. My parents also began to be tanned to see me in the basement, ” says Justin Lalande, laughing.
The young man of 19 years old, Joliette, studied theatre at cegep. He admits that during the first weeks of confinement, he had thought to touch the PCU before changing your mind.
Justin Lalande picks up the vegetables at hand.
Thanks to this new experience in agriculture, he has discovered another reality.
“Before, I was walking next to the fields and I saw big machines. I told myself that it was reaping alone. But no ! There are people who collect these vegetables there, ” he says.
Angelique Toupin, also aged 19, has been inspired by his younger brother, Jeremiah, who works in the agricultural sector in the summer for the past few years.
“I heard him call to give his name and I said to myself that I could do the same thing “, she says.
The young woman from Joliette worked as a student in a fitness center. A job that she could not resume since the gyms are just to reopen because of the crisis.
At the farm, she quickly took his ease. After only a few days, she began to perform more complicated tasks, including picking up the asparagus on the harvester, a machine requesting to be much faster.
If she worked hard, this is not the case for his entourage. “The majority of my friends have decided to opt for the PCUE . “
For his part, Justin Lalande says that it is hard to imagine some of his friends work on the farm. However, he does not want to be too harsh towards them.
“It is not given to everyone. It’s very physical and there are some that have other strengths and are best in jobs more intellectuals or from the general public “, analysis-t-it.
The amount of $ 1,250 paid to post-secondary students has been decried by several actors within the agricultural community. The Union of agricultural producers, in particular, argues that the PCUE will hurt recruitment efforts.
Mario Rondeau, owner of the firm Primera is of the same opinion.
“It has come to undermine our chances of having the staff “, he says.
The specialist of asparagus, however, believes that the premium of $ 100 per week granted by Quebec to those who will lend hand-strong to the fields is most helpful.
“I’ve got two or three that I have been able to pull through this,” he says.
About Justin Lalande, he argues that this was not the incentive at first.
“I learned when I started. But it is sure that this is nice, ” he admits.