World News – CA – Seven Trinidadian nationals stranded on Canadian farm – Stabroek News


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(Trinidad Express) Canadian tobacco farmer says seven Trinidadian workers are stranded on his farm and efforts to get them home are unanswered

According to a Simcoe Reformer report, Trinidadian nationals are stranded in Delhi Township, Ontario, also known as « Heart of Tobacco Country »

The Reformer spoke to farmer owner and operator Mike Bouw, who said: « These guys seem to be stuck »

The locals are seasonal migrant workers and Bouw said that in the spring, farmers in the area fought to get their usual offshore workers but he cannot return home

Noting the closure of Trinidad and Tobago’s borders since March, Mr. Bouw said it was « difficult » to bring workers to Canada, but « now they are in limbo with the onset of winter »

According to the reformer, Bouw said that after the work was done on his farm, he contacted other farmers to see if the men could find work elsewhere.

« We don’t have anything for them to do so they just sit around the dorm, » Bouw said, adding that the buildings weren’t meant for winter living.

« We just want to get them home as quickly and safely as possible, but they need an exemption and the guys tell me their Department of National Security (in Trinidad) needs to approve the exemptions for allow them to return home, ”Bouw said

The Reformer article notes that « Trinidad has a particularly low incidence of the Covid-19 virus at this stage and its borders remain closed to international flights unless expressly authorized »

He also said Trinidadians returning from low-risk countries must have a recent negative test for Covid-19 and self-quarantine, while those returning from high-risk countries will undergo a medical examination and be put quarantined for seven days— in accordance with public health regulations to stop the spread of the virus

According to the report, Trinidadian workers in Bouw had booked flights on three dates this month, but without permission to return home they continued to be pushed back

« We submitted our exemption requests a month in advance and gave them an end date well beyond. This creates a real problem here on the farm, » Bouw said

The author of the article, Susan Gamble, said the news outlet had not received a response from the Trinidad and Tobago consulate in Toronto, but that a spokesperson for CanAg, who organizes buses and flights for farm workers, said the case was no longer there the hands of the agency

« Exemptions not received in a timely manner for agricultural workers to travel to their homes in Trinidad and Tobago The situation is entirely in the hands of the Ministry of National Security and the Ministry of Labor of Trinidad and Tobago. -Tobago « 

The owner of the farm said he was on the phone daily with CanAg and spoke to the Trinidadian liaison officer at the consulate in Toronto

« I bug them everyday for any news, but they said, ‘Come back in November’ November! It’s just a terrible situation for our guys, » said Bouw

In June 2020, National Security Minister Stuart Young responded to calls from residents wishing to leave Trinidad for seasonal farm work in Canada, informing them that they were free to do so and that exemptions would be granted , but that they would leave this country at their own risk In July, the ministry launched an e-mail service specifically for people requesting a departure exemption, at departexemption @ mnsgovtt

The government has kept the borders closed for the time being and maintains that re-entry, which is reserved for nationals, is also guided by the local rate of Covid-19 as this has affected the availability of the hospital and the quarantine space, as well as the infection rate in the country from which they return


News from the world – CA – Seven Trinidad nationals stranded on a Canadian farm – Stabroek News



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