Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl is calling on the federal government to provide rapid COVID testing for arriving international farm workers. (Black Press file)

Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl is calling on the federal government to provide rapid COVID testing for arriving international farm workers. (Black Press file)

MP Mark Strahl calls for rapid COVID testing for international farm workers

Chilliwack-Hope MP says the greenhouse industry is very concerned about worker availability

The MP for Chilliwack-Hope says local farmers are concerned about federal COVID restrictions on travellers entering Canada.

The governing Liberals recently introduced a requirement for all international travellers, including international farm workers, to test negative for COVID-19 before boarding a Canada-bound flight.

Mark Strahl says a greenhouse producer in Chilliwack told him this is “an extremely serious issue for their industry.”

“Many international farm workers cannot afford the cost of a COVID-19 test before they leave their country, and even if they can afford it, some countries currently lack the necessary testing capacity,” Strahl said. “This local greenhouse producer stressed that it is imperative to grant greenhouse workers an exemption from this new requirement until their countries can build their processes and capacities for testing.”

RELATED: MP Strahl goes to bat for Chilliwack farmer in the virtual House of Commons

RELATED: MP Strahl demands dairy farmers be told when they’ll be compensated

Even with a negative COVID test in their country of origin, international farm workers are still required to isolate after arriving in Canada.

The Conservatives are calling on the government to introduce rapid testing for those people.

“Greenhouse vegetable producers rely on international farm workers for their growing season and vegetable growers need workers to continue packing crops,” said Lianne Rood, Conservative Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Agri-Food in a news release. “Conservatives have been raising concerns with the Minister (Marie-Claude Bibeau) since November, yet we see no action while thousands of Canadian farmers are left in the dark.”

Strahl said the federal government should follow the lead of other jurisdictions around the the world that have post-arrival testing in place.

“The Liberals have refused to look at evidence-based models that other G7 countries are using, in favour of confusing, difficult to enforce and verify, pre-arrival testing requirements,” he said. “Conservatives will keep fighting for the health and safety of Canadians and for the certainty and clarity they deserve from their government.”

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Eva Pucci Couture in this file shot from May 29, 2019, when she came to Chilliwack asking for the public’s help in locating her missing son, Kristofer Shawn Couture. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Missing man’s mom still hopeful, 2 years after his car was found abandoned at Chilliwack trail

‘I wish someone would come forward with insight into your whereabouts,’ pleads mom of missing man

Chilliwack is expected to be among the province’s hottest real estate markets in 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)
Chilliwack housing market projected to be among B.C.’s hottest in 2021

B.C. Real Estate Association projects Chilliwack and District to grow by 17.1 per cent

Abbotsford tattoo artist Tanya Loewen has entered the Inked cover girl contest.
Abbotsford mother, tattoo artist enters Inked cover girl contest

Tanya Loewen, tattoo artist at Van Bree Tattoo, hoping to win big in magazine contest

Sheriff Avory Chapman was last seen Jan. 20 on Wellington Avenue in Chilliwack. (RCMP)
RCMP look for missing man last seen in downtown Chilliwack

21-year-old Sheriff Avory Chapman has been missing since Jan. 20

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

A Vancouver Police Department patch is seen on an officer’s uniform as she makes a phone call. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver man calls 911 to report his own stabbing, leading to arrest: police

Officers located the suspect a few blocks away. He was holding a bloody knife.

Vernon has agreed to a goose cull to control the over-populated invasive species making a muck of area parks and beaches. (Morning Star file photo)
Okanagan city pulls the trigger on goose cull

City asking neighbours to also help control over-population of geese

FILE – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers his opening remarks at a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine CEO ‘very, very clear’ that Canada’s contracts will be honoured: Trudeau

Trudeau says he spoke to Moderna CEO on the morning of Jan. 26

Ben Tyler was working on a Nicola area ranch when he disappeared. File photo
Ben Tyler was working on a Nicola area ranch when he disappeared. File photo
2 years after his riderless horse was found, police believe Merritt cowboy was killed

Two years after he went missing, Ben Tyner’s family makes video plea for information

A ground worker wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 unloads lobsters from a WestJet Airlines flight at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday, January 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Trudeau teases stricter travel measures; Canadians flying to U.S. now need COVID test

Prime minister says measures need to not hurt imports and essential trade

Seats in the waiting area of domestic departures lounge of Calgary International Airport are seen with caution tape on them on June 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
3-in-4 Canadians in favour of banning interprovincial travel: Poll

According to Research Co., 80 per cent of Canadians would like to see restrictions imposed

The shirts sell for $45, with 30 per cent of proceeds from each sale going to Battered Women’s Support Services in Vancouver. (Madame Premier/Sarah Elder-Chamanara)
Canadian company launches ‘hysterical’ T-Shirt to combat health officials’ use of word

A partnership with Tamara Taggart will see women broadcast the word on a T-shirt or tote bag

Most Read