COVID-19 Update: April 16

Below you will find a general update related to COVID-19, broken down into various sections for ease of reading.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact NSFA staff. You can reach us by email or phone.

Phone: (902) 893-2293

Canadian Federation of Agriculture Press Conference

This afternoon Mary Robinson, President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA), hosted a virtual press conference to address the extraordinary challenges being faced by Canadian farmers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms. Robinson warned that without immediate assistance from the federal government, the Canadian agriculture sector cannot ensure our domestic food supply will remain secure for the immediate and long-term benefit of all Canadians.

To view a recording of today’s virtual press conference, click here.

Government of Nova Scotia’s Press Conference

Thank you to Premier McNeil for acknowledging the industry, we look forward to working with government through the various challenges facing the agriculture sector to ensure food security for Nova Scotians.

During his closing remarks at the end of today’s press conference, Premier Stephen McNeil highlighted two important topics: food security and temporary foreign workers. We have placed a portion of his message below, if you would like to watch the press conference click here. The Premier’s full closing remarks begin at 1:00:34.

“Once those 14 days (of self isolation) are up they will go to work on our farms, as they have every spring for many years. For many of these workers they have become part of our farming families. They play a very important role in the agricultural sector and it’s their hard work and the hard work of the men and women farming in our province who put food on our tables and help keep our economy moving. We are grateful our temporary foreign workers are here.”

TFW Employer Documents – Provincial Requirements

The provincial government has outlined its requirements for TFW employers in the Guidance for Temporary Foreign Workers Employed in the Agriculture and Seafood Sectors document. The provincial requirements for employers include all federal requirements plus additional requirements from the Province of Nova Scotia. We have also developed a webpage to provide you with all of the information and required documentation in one place.

As previously mentioned, there is a working group established between the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture, Perennia and Department of Agriculture. This group is here to support you through this and is not responsible for any enforcement or legislation. Please feel free to reach out to a member of the working group with any questions:

Carolyn Van Den Heuvel – or (902)318-8977 (cell)
Kyla Pierik – or (902)698-6873 (cell)
Rachael Cheverie – or (902)324-2178 (cell)

COVID-19 Financial Relief Measures Guide

NSFA has pulled together a guide on the financial relief measures that have been put in place by both Federal and Provincial governments. You can view this guide here, for more information pertaining to COVID-19, please visit our website. This document will continue to be updated as new measures are introduced.

COVID-19 Resources – Farm Safety

Farm Safety Nova Scotia now has resources in available in both English and Spanish to help manage the new working requirements. The resources range from a COVID-19 fact sheet, guidance for farmers to information graphics for workers on hand washsing, how to protect themselves, how to stop the spread, and procedures if workers are showing signs and symptoms of the illness.

This page continues to be updated as new materials are created.

Communication with Government

We continue to remain in contact with Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Keith Colwell and Member of Parliament, Kody Blois. Our calls now take place on a weekly basis. NSFA continues to advocate on behalf of our members to ensure there are measures in place to support farmers during these difficult times. Please reach out to the office if you have specific issues to be brought up through our advocacy initiatives.