Mexico hits pause on sending temporary foreign workers after COVID-19 deaths

A temporary foreign worker from Mexico plants strawberries on a farm in Mirabel, Que., Wednesday, May 6, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)

Mexico's ambassador to Canada says his country won't send any more temporary foreign workers to Canada until it has more clarity on why two died due to COVID-19.

Gomez Camacho said across Canada, 300 Mexicans are believed to have been infected with the novel coronavirus.

His government needs assurances that the situation can be brought under control before allowing more workers to arrive.

That means as many as five-thousand temporary foreign workers expected to arrive in Canada in the coming months are being held back.

One man died this month and the other in late May.

They were employed by different farms in the Windsor, Ontario area, a farming heartland in southwestern Ontario that has seen ongoing outbreaks.

Mexicans make up about half of the temporary foreign worker population employed in the agriculture sector, which in 2018 meant there were 25-thousand, 60 people employed on farms, in greenhouses and other related jobs.