New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs has opened the borders once again to seasonal agricultural workers. Reversing his decision of April 28 to ban workers because of COVID-19 concerns, he’s announced that workers will be welcomed on May 29 for a 14-day quarantine.
His hopes that some of the 70,000 unemployed New Brunswickers would apply for farm jobs did not materialize.
Lisa Ashworth, president of the Agricultural Alliance of New Brunswick, told the CBC that the lifting of the ban is good news although the delay has caused "permanent damage."
"Some perennial crops require a set care schedule. You're looking at years’ worth of implication there in terms of maximizing the yield, that if you didn't get things done on schedule, you can't change it," she said.
"Some crops might not be planted because of the timelines but we're going to try to minimize those losses for sure."
Without the temporary foreign workers, New Brunswick farmers were expecting losses of approximately $7-million this season. With the premier’s newest announcement, it will take some time to ensure all the paperwork and flight arrangements are in order, but the move will help mitigate those losses, Ashworth said.Source : Government of New Brunswick