TORONTO — The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $1 million in new funding to connect workers with in-demand jobs in the agri-food sector to keep the nation's supply chains strong and store shelves stocked during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership), the federal and provincial governments will provide support that will help people connect with job opportunities in the sector quickly. This program would help primary agriculture, food processing companies and grocery retail to recruit and train workers who are important to keeping the essential food supply chain functioning.
"The women and men who work on farms, in processing plants and throughout the food production chain, are doing an essential service for us during this critical time and we are thankful for their dedication and hard work," said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. "There is a strong need for workers on Canadian farms and in food processing businesses right now and our Government is taking concrete actions to find solutions, including through this new initiative, to ensure that Canadians continue to have high-quality food on their grocery store shelves and kitchen tables."
"This is a very labour-intensive sector so it is critical to attract more people to ensure our food supply chain continues to provide healthy and nutritious food to Ontario families during this COVID-19 outbreak," said the Honourable Ernie Hardeman, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "Our government is doing everything possible to ensure we support our farmers and food processors to fill job vacancies, including the development of a new web portal connecting workers with employers."
Through the Partnership's Place to Grow: Agri-Food Innovation Initiative, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) will immediately accept applications and will expedite the approval process to help address sector labour concerns quickly.
Since June 2018, both the federal and provincial governments have committed support to approximately 2,500 projects, through the Partnership, to help eligible Ontario farmers, processors, businesses and sector organizations innovate and grow.
- Funding will be cost-shared by the Province.
- The intake is provided under the Place to Grow: Agri-Food Innovation Initiative – Addressing Labour Supply and Training Challenges project category.
- The Partnership is a five-year, $3-billion commitment by Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments that supports Canada's agri-food and agri-products sectors.
- This targeted intake will begin accepting applications on April 17, 2020. Eligible applications will be received and assessed on a continuous basis, while funding is available.
- For more information about this targeted application intake or to obtain a program guidebook, email: [email protected] or call: 1-877-424-1300.
- This programming follows Ontario’s recent establishment of an online portal to help link agri-food sector employers with people interested in being a part of government’s response to COVID-19.
- OMAFRA delivers cost-share funding under the Place to Grow program.
- The Ontario agri-food sector supports more than 837,000 jobs in Ontario and contributes more than $47.5 billion each year to the province’s economy.
- The Canadian Agricultural Partnership in Ontario
- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
- Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
- Visit Ontario's website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19 or to take a self assessment.