Even as the number of positive covid19 cases continues to rise in Canada, a Chaguanas man has called on the Government to make an exemption and open the borders so agricultural workers can go overseas to work.
Anthon Lamothe, 51, is worried about job losses if Government does not give clearance to people to leave for Canada as soon as possible. Lamothe has worked on Canadian farms as part of the Commonwealth Caribbean Seasonal Agricultural Worker Programme.
“I have a family to take care of and I am the sole breadwinner. My wife is unemployed. Hundreds of workers are affected by this border closure. If we do not go back now, they (the bosses in Canada) will hire other people from other countries,” Lamothe said. “We need to go to secure our job. I have no money.”
Lamothe said he has been working in the programme for the past seven years. He and other workers were scheduled to leave TT on April 1. However, on March 22, Government closed the borders as a measure to curb the spread of the pandemic.
“My boss in Ontario keeps asking about what is going on here. Other countries are allowing workers to go on farms in Canada. I have already paid and prepared all of my documents. My passport and other documents are still at the Ministry (of Labour and Small Enterprise Development),” Lamothe said.
Working in Canada, he said, is “the only option” to care for his family. CTV News Toronto on Sunday reported that the total number of lab-confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Ontario was 22,653 with 17,360 recoveries and 1,881 deaths.
The Canadian government via its website (www.canada.ca) on Sunday reported that the total number of confirmed cases in that country was 76,193 with 5,702 deaths related to the virus.
TT has eight covid19-related deaths and 116 confirmed positive cases. So far, 107 patients have been recovered and only one patient is hospitalised. The last new confirmed case was on April 21.