Masse Calls on Feds to Fund Migrant Worker Isolation Centre

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Funding for the Migrant Farm Workers Isolation Centre in the Windsor has run out.

The deal between the federal government and the Red Cross, which runs the centre, expired on September 30 with no new funding being announced.

The City of Windsor has volunteered to take over but is still waiting to hear from the federal government.

Windsor West New Democrat MP, Brian Masse, says it was very responsible for the City of Windsor to step up and provide a centre.

"What's really shocking is to fight for this type of support because it really ignores the really significant contribution we have from new Canadians and also public safety," he says. "So the mayor and the city has really done an amazing job of coming to the forefront."

As it stands now, the federal government has been paying the Canadian Red Cross to manage the centre in Windsor-Essex, with the provincial government providing some leadership support and coordination, which Masse says is not a long-term solution.

"The reality of migrant workers as part of regular economy every single year and every single season so we need to have some long-term solutions, the city has that capability, the Red Cross has done some really great work but it took some learning," he says.

Masse says it needs to be recognized that supports can't be a one-time thing.

"The migrant worker situation was well documented well before the pandemic as being a problem because of housing and other types of issues coming into our communities," he adds.

Medical Officer of Health for Windsor-Essex, Dr. Wajid Ahmed, has called for the centre to remain operational as we deal with a second wave of the virus.

Approximately 20,000 migrant workers come to Ontario each year to work on farms and in greenhouses, about 5,000 to 6,000 of them are in Windsor-Essex.