The improved Meyer lemon tree is grown as an ornamental tree, as well as for fruit, and does well in containers. (Monrovia)

Safe, clean campsites to be made available for seasonal fruit pickers in B.C.

One campsite is planned for the Oliver area in the southern Okanagan and two more are slated for Creston

The B.C. government says it is moving to protect residents and seasonal workers from COVID-19 while ensuring the temporary labourers have a safe place to stay as they work in orchards and fields this summer.

A statement from the Ministry of Agriculture says it is providing funds to local governments to create designated campsite accommodations.

The sites would meet health and safety requirements set by the provincial health officer to slow the spread of COVID-19.

One campsite is planned for the Oliver area in the southern Okanagan and two more are slated for Creston in southeastern B.C., with the province providing about $60,000 for each site.

The ministry says seasonal workers must also complete a new online COVID-19 awareness course outlining the rights and responsibilities of employers and workers to meet B.C.’s pandemic-related rules.

Camping accommodations are also being explored in Summerland, Osoyoos, Naramata and the Similkameen.

Agriculture Minister Lana Popham says creation of the campsites is a step toward ensuring community safety as well as the safety of seasonal workers, who are a “crucial part” of B.C.’s food supply system.

“Our government is protecting these workers and local residents by making sure workers have a safe place to camp and are educated on the rules and guidelines Dr. Bonnie Henry has put in place here in British Columbia,” Popham says in the statement.

The COVID-19 awareness course for seasonal workers includes information on physical distancing, hygiene and cleaning, work pods, transportation, tools and equipment, as well as safeguarding and monitoring health, the ministry says.

The course must be completed by any seasonal worker planning to stay at the campsites.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Surfrider Pacific Rim: Flash Clean Fridays

Grab your reusable gloves, bags and buckets and join Surfrider Pacific Rim’s newest initiative.

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation says more resources needed to keep Tribal Parks open during pandemic

Tribal Park Allies program needs more buy-in from Tofino businesses.

Tofino mayor Josie Osborne seeks B.C. NDP nomination for Mid Island-Pacific Rim

Longtime B.C. NDP MLA Scott Fraser announced on Monday that he will not be seeking reelection

Tourists’ vehicles vandalized in Tofino

Community steps up to support visitors.

Mid Island-Pacific Rim MLA Scott Fraser won’t seek re-election

Fraser one of two MLAs to announce intentions as election rumours swirl in B.C.

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

B.C.’s 1st mental health and addictions minister won’t be seeking re-election

MLA Judy Darcy is the fifth cabinet minister not intending to run in the next election

Remote B.C. tourism lodge staffed for coastal clean up instead of wilderness tours

The Great Bear Rainforest is home to exotic wildlife — and international trash

Most Read