City Waiting on Government Funds for COVID Isolation Centre


The City of Windsor is still waiting to hear from the Federal government on whether or not it will take over management of the Migrant Farm Workers Isolation Centre.

As it stands now, the feds have been paying the Canadian Red Cross to manage the centre in Windsor-Essex, with the provincial government providing some leadership support and coordination.

Speaking on AM800's The Morning Drive, Mayor Drew Dilkens says funding runs out September 30.

“We're willing to step into the role of the Red Cross and into the shoes of the Federal Government and the Provincial Government and sort of take on the responsibility for operationalizing or running the isolation recovery centre for migrant workers,” he says. “But lets not forget that it's the Federal Government who brought the folks here, who created the pathway and has the system in place to invite the people who are working.”

Because it's the Federal government's system that allows temporary foreign workers into Canada, Dilkens believes both the federal and provincial governments have a responsibility.

“And the whole issue of health and agriculture and labour, all falls to the provincial head of government, so they too have a responsibility,” says Dilkens. “So, I appreciate that this is complex and that there are lots of priorities around the province and the country that demand the time of the people who are here in Windsor-Essex helping us sort through the issue, we are not done.”

Dilkens says we are not over the hump and it's necessary to make sure all of the supports are still in place.

“The issue, even though it's in my backyard by way of being in Leamington and Kingsville where most of these folks were, I recognize that we're the city that is the largest urban area in this area that has the hotel rooms and the sophisticated social services department who can deliver this service, but to have the cost fall on the back of the taxpayers only of the City of Windsor would be completely unfair,” he says.

According to Dilkens, the Federal Government provided the City of Toronto with almost $14-million for an isolation centre in early September and Windsor is now seeking similar treatment.

The Medical Officer of Health for Windsor-Essex, Dr. Wajid Ahmed, has called for the centre to remain operational in preparation or planning for a potential second save of COVID-19.​