NDP MLA Brittny Anderson says boost will help Creston Valley farms continue to provide fresh BC produce

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CRESTON – New Democrat MLA Brittny Anderson say British Columbians will continue to enjoy fresh produce from the Creston Valley this year thanks to a partnership between farmers, workers and the Province that will extend support for COVID-19 health and safety measures and help fill labour shortages for seasonal workers in workcamps.

“People in the Creston Valley work hard to provide delicious food that comes from their fields, orchards and farms to your plate,” said MLA Anderson. “This support will help keep workers safe and help keep people in the Kootenays and across British Columbia fed with the best of what our province has to offer.”

The New Democrat government is investing a total of $652,000 to support continued modified operations, infrastructure, and layout to protect worker, employer, and public health at workcamps in the Okanagan and Creston Valley. Support for on-site coordinator positions for conducting and implementing COVID-19 safety training and protocols, and supporting daily health checks will also continue.

In Creston, $25,000 in funding will go towards hiring of a seasonal COVID-19 coordinator position that will liaise with employers and employees with on-site camping to provide safety, health, and wellbeing support.

This latest support is an extension of the $422,000 investment in 2020 as part of the province’s COVID-19 response in 2020. Due to the government’s measured response, there were no COVID-19 cases at any organized workcamps last year.

B.C. growers will be able to fill labour shortages by supporting safe camping and accommodation for approximately 1,500 seasonal workers coming to B.C. from other Canadian provinces to work during the summer months. This ongoing effort demonstrates a commitment from the New Democrat government to support workers, farm owners, and healthy living for all British Columbians.

Learn More: Supporting a safe 2021 fruit harvest in B.C.