Letters: Agriculture deemed essential

The COVID-19 virus is impacting all facets of our communities, the economy and our province. On March 30, the chief provincial public health officer issued the new health order with a schedule of critical services. Agriculture and all aspects related to food production and the food supply chain are listed as essential services.

Our government encourages business to continue “business as usual” as much as possible while following the new health order and protocols. We understand the need for the food supply chains to remain open and operating, and this requires staff in our plants and food-processing facilities. Continually monitoring the safety of the food supply chain is critical which is why spring road restrictions will not be applied for essential commodities. We also are working closely with producers and the federal government to ensure a clear and timely process to support entry of temporary foreign workers and appropriate isolation protocols.

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Manitoba Agriculture is working closely with Manitoba Health to ensure that local food processors have access to the necessary services to continue to provide food for Manitobans while ensuring that all appropriate precautions are being taken to protect staff.

Thank you for reaching out to offer your assistance and encouragement. Manitoba farmers are well known for coming to the table with solutions to challenges and now more than ever that help is required. Please know that our government continues to work diligently on behalf of producers and all Manitobans. This unprecedented situation will continue to change and so together, we must adapt, improve and overcome obstacles facing our ag community.

We offer you, your employees and your families our best wishes and health as we navigate this road together.

Blaine Pedersen
Minister of Agriculture and Resource Development

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