Lisa Gretzky MPP, for Windsor West

Government of Ontario

Ford must use the tools available to solve the migrant worker crisis in Windsor-Essex

Published on June 17, 2020

ESSEX – NDP MPP Taras Natyshak says the buck stops with Doug Ford and the provincial government to take control of the outbreaks on farms that’s already led to the avoidable deaths of migrant workers. “Doug Ford has the tools available to deal with these outbreaks, but still refuses to act. While Ford sits on his hands and blames others, more workers will become infected and the virus will continue to spread in Windsor-Essex,” said Natyshak.

Natyshak is proposing a series of measures that the Ford government can take right away to resolve the crisis and ensure Windsor-Essex can move to the next stage of re-opening:

  • Rapidly expand testing by deploying mobile testing units directly to farms to test all workers, whether or not they have symptoms, and protecting workers from facing any repercussions from getting tested
  • Provide proper accommodations for workers who need to isolate to replace the bunk houses where physical distancing is impossible
  • Develop a long-term plan for the farming and food processing sector that ensures migrant workers have safe working and living conditions, and avoids any disruptions to the food supply chain in the event of a second wave of COVID-19 in the future

“Now is the time for provincial leadership to resolve the crisis here in Windsor-Essex. Ford can start today by sending mobile testing units to farms immediately so we can contain these outbreaks and prevent more from happening.”

Ford admitted yesterday that only 724, less than 10 per cent, of the 8,000 migrant workers in Windsor-Essex have been tested for COVID-19. The program specifically for testing migrant workers, that was successful in creating a model to test workers in a safe, controlled environment, was shut down on June 18.