City proposing changes to farm worker housing policy

After consulting with the Mexican Consulate, the Jamaican Liaison Service, the city is proposing some changes to its Temporary Farm Worker Housing policy.

The numbers show that close to 2100 Mexican workers were hired in the Okanagan last year, with just over 700 Jamaican workers making the trip up.

And based on the vast majority of farms that employ 40 foreign workers or less, a proposed change is to limit farm worker housing to 40 people, across the board, as opposed to allowing larger dwellings on bigger farms.

As well, staff is proposing to make the 8-month window for temporary workers flexible, instead of restricting it between March and October.

Along with the foreign agencies, staff also talked to the BC Fruit Growers Association, and the Ministry of Agriculture

The housing policy was a joint collaboration between Lake Country, Kelowna, West Kelowna, and the RDCO.