Global Statistics

All countries
101,459,973
Confirmed
Updated on January 28, 2021 3:17 am
All countries
73,135,109
Recovered
Updated on January 28, 2021 3:17 am
All countries
2,184,783
Deaths
Updated on January 28, 2021 3:17 am

Global Statistics

All countries
101,459,973
Confirmed
Updated on January 28, 2021 3:17 am
All countries
73,135,109
Recovered
Updated on January 28, 2021 3:17 am
All countries
2,184,783
Deaths
Updated on January 28, 2021 3:17 am

Seven Trinidad nationals stuck on Canadian farm

A Canadian tobacco farmer has claimed that seven Trinidadian workers are stuck on his farm and efforts to get them home are meeting with no response.
According to a report in the Simcoe Reformer, the Trinidadian nationals are stranded in the township of Delhi, Ontario, also known as the “Heart of Tobacco Country”.
The Reformer spoke with farmer owner and operator, Mike Bouw, who stated: “These guys seem to be stuck.”
The locals are seasonal migrant workers and Bouw stated that in the spring, area farmers fought to get their usual off-shore workers but now he can’t get his home.
Noting the closure of the Trinidad and Tobago borders since March, Bouw said it was “tricky’ to get the workers up to Canada but “now they’re in limbo with winter coming”.
According to the Reformer, Bouw said with work on his farm done, he reached out to other farmers to see if the men might be able to find work elsewhere.
However, most harvests are already inside.
“We have nothing for them to do so they’re just sitting around the bunkhouse,” Bouw said, adding that the buildings were not intended for winter living.
“We just want to get them home as quickly and safely as possible but they need an exemption and the guys are telling me their Ministry of National Security (in Trinidad) has to sign off on the exemptions to clear them to come home,” Bouw was quoted as saying.
Low incidence
The Reformer article noted that “Trinidad has an especially low incidence of the Covid-19 virus at this point and its borders remain closed to international flights unless specifically permitted”.
It also stated that Trinidadians returning from low-risk countries have to have a recent negative test for Covid-19 and self-quarantine, while those returning from high-risk countries will have a medical assessment and be quarantined for seven days—according to public health regulations to stop the spread of the virus.
The report claimed that Bouw’s Trinidadian workers had flights booked on three dates this month but without permission to return home, they kept getting pushed back.
“We put in our requests for their exemptions a month ahead of time and gave them an end date well beyond that. It’s creating a real problem here on the farm,” Bouw stated.
Author of the article, Susan Gamble, said the media house did not get a response from the Trinidad and Tobago Consulate in Toronto but a spokesperson for CanAg, which arranges busing and flights for farm workers, said the matter is out of that agency’s hands.
Bouw further contended:
“Exemptions are not being received in a timely manner for farm workers to travel home to Trinidad and Tobago. The situation is entirely in the hands of the Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of National Security and Ministry of Labour.”
The farm owner said he has been on the phone daily with CanAg and has talked to the Trinidadian liaison from the consulate in Toronto.
“I bug them daily for any news but they said, ‘Check back in November’. November! This is just a terrible situation for our guys,” Bouw said.
In June 2020, National Security Minister Stuart Young addressed calls by locals wishing to depart Trinidad for seasonal farm work in Canada, advising them that they were free to do so and exemptions would be granted but that they would be leaving this country at their own risk. In July, the ministry launched an e-mail facility specifically for persons seeking exemption to leave, at departexemption@mns.gov.tt.
Government has retained the closure of the borders at this time and maintains that re-entry, which is for nationals only, is also guided by the local Covid-19 rate as this affected availability of hospital and quarantine space, as well as the infection rate in the country from which they are returning.
Young could not be reached for comment yesterday.
(Trinidad Express)

Stay Connected

11,882FansLike
3,036FollowersFollow

Latest news