GFM Network News


Ontario to insure for crop loss due to lack of labour

AgriInsurance offering hailed as a first in Canada

Ontario’s federal/provincial AgriInsurance program has been temporarily expanded to include coronavirus-related labour shortages as a covered cause for crop loss. Producers already enrolled in an eligible production insurance plan and hit by crop losses due to labour disruptions during the 2020 growing season will be able to get further insurance coverage, the Ontario and federal

Ontario investigating 17 temp agencies after virus outbreaks on farms

"We stand firm against exploitation in our province"

Toronto/Winnipeg | Reuters — Ontario is investigating 17 temporary recruitment agencies, the province’s labour ministry said, after health officials warned that agencies that move workers from farm to farm could be contributing to COVID-19 outbreaks. Canadian farms rely on some 60,000 people who come to Canada on temporary work permits every year, typically living and


Brandt deal for Topcon distributor in Ontario falls through

GeoShack says will remain 'independently owned'

A proposal that would have made farm equipment maker Brandt the exclusive dealer for Topcon GPS equipment in Canada has fallen through without a sealed deal. GeoShack Canada, the “master dealer” for TopCon equipment in Ontario through its locations in Toronto, Ottawa and London, announced Tuesday that a completed acquisition by the Regina-based Brandt Group

Ontario pledges farm recruiter crackdown as COVID-19 outbreaks grow

Ford rips 'fly-by-nighters just trying to make a quick buck'

Toronto | Reuters –– Ontario will crack down on “fly-by-night” recruitment agencies sending workers on to farms, the premier said on Monday, after a testing blitz identified a major coronavirus outbreak on a farm in southwestern Ontario. “We’re reaching out to all the farmers, we’re getting a list of these recruitment agencies. We found out

Tam seeks details on Ontario’s COVID-19 farm worker guidelines

Windsor-Essex area reports six ag-related outbreaks as of Thursday

Ottawa/Toronto | Reuters — Canada’s top public health official said on Thursday she plans to seek more information from Ontario about the province’s plan to allow some COVID-19 positive people with no symptoms to return to their jobs — a risky policy, according to workers’ advocates and some doctors. Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, issued


Royal Agricultural Winter Fair cancelled for 2020

Near-century-old annual ag showcase put off to 2021

Two years shy of its 100th anniversary, Toronto’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has been called off for 2020. Organizers said Wednesday the event, which was scheduled for Nov. 6-15 at Toronto’s Exhibition Place, has been cancelled “due to our ongoing concern regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.” First held in 1922, spearheaded by Ontario cattle producer W.A.

Aurora Cannabis to shut five Canadian grows

Closures mean layoffs for 30 per cent of firm's production staff

Edmonton marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis is poised to close five of its grow sites across Canada and lay off almost a third of its production workforce. The company on Tuesday announced next steps in the “business transformation plan” it launched in February to “better align the business financially with the current realities of the cannabis

Mexico to resume sending farmworkers to Canada after safety agreement

Mexico City | Reuters — Mexico will resume sending temporary farmworkers to Canada after the two countries reached an agreement on improved safety protections for labourers on Canadian farms during the coronavirus pandemic, the Mexican government said Sunday. Mexico said last Tuesday it would pause sending workers to farms with coronavirus infections after at least


Animal welfare activist dies outside Ontario pork plant

Protestor reportedly hit by transport truck

An animal welfare activist has died while attending what’s been described as a “vigil” outside a southern Ontario hog packing plant, as new provincial limits on such activity around livestock are set to take effect. Halton Regional Police Service reported receiving a call Friday morning that a person had been “struck by a transport truck”

TFW program to be overhauled after COVID-19 outbreaks on farms

"The piece that's missing is enforcement"

Winnipeg | Reuters — Canada is overhauling its temporary foreign worker program, a government spokeswoman said on Friday, after coronavirus outbreaks on Ontario farms sickened hundreds and led Mexico to demand assurances of proper safeguards. As part of the review, surprise inspections of working and living conditions on farms will immediately increase, Ashley Michnowski, communications