Bradford farmers welcome funding for PPE
BRADFORD, ONT. -- The Ontario government is giving farmers a financial boost to combat COVID-19.
The province says it will provide $10-million to allow more farmers and agri-food operators to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE), enhance their cleaning measures, and redesign workstations to protect workers.
"Ontario Farmers feed the province and the world, and if we can't obtain the PPE we need, we can't produce the products on your table," said Peggy Brekveld, the president of Ontario's Federation of Agriculture.
Brekveld says this program is an opportunity for farmers to obtain up to $15,000 per farm.
According to the province, under the new Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program, farms and agri-food businesses that hire three or more employees will be eligible for funding. This also includes businesses and workers such as corn detasselers, transporters, hatcheries, and primary processing.
On Friday, several farmers around Bradford told CTV News that they appreciate the financial help.
"Here at Gwillimdale farms, we have had a lot of additional costs such as PPE," said Sarah Guy, the health and safety coordinator.
She says the farm employs between 50-100 workers.
According to Guy, over the last year, the farm has gone through renovations to adapt to COVID-19 and has provided essential PPE.
"It's upwards of $50,000 we've spent for COVID-19 measures," said Guy.
Over the next week, the province is planning on releasing more information about the program as the application process will begin on April 22. Aside from this, the government says it will cover costs retroactive to March 13, 2021.