Summerland turns portion of municipal campground into temporary agricultural worker accommodation - InfoNews

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Summerland turns portion of municipal campground into temporary agricultural worker accommodation

Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/The Winchester Star, Scott Mason
July 05, 2020 - 1:24 PM

A portion of Summerland’s Peach Orchard Municipal Campground will be converted into accommodations for seasonal agricultural workers for the duration of the cherry harvest, the district announced today, July 5.

“Seasonal agricultural workers are a designated essential service and play a crucial and appreciated role in our food supply chain, local and regional agricultural economy," Anthony Haddad, the District of Summerland’s Chief Administrative Officer said in a press release.

“This three and a half week period for agricultural workers using a small portion of the Peach Orchard Campground will assist our local agricultural industry while ensuring the health and safety of our community. The campground has been used in the past by agricultural workers, so we see this as a good short term solution on land that can accommodate the workers.”

A total of 14 campsites at Peach Orchard Campground have been identified for use for this purpose, with a maximum of 50 workers using these facilities at any one time from July 8 to July 31.

The camp will include 24/7 onsite supervision and will be monitored regularly by District bylaw and RCMP. 

“The on-site camp manager, specifically hired for the next three and a half weeks, will provide oversite for the workers and our District Bylaw staff will provide further monitoring of the campsite, as required, ensuring the campsite operates in a respectful manner,” Haddad said.

The site created in Summerland, and being led by the BC Ministry of Agriculture,  has been created because some workers may not be able to be accommodated on farms with new COVID-19 standards, according to the district release.

Workers that cannot stay on farms don’t always have access to safe and sanitary conditions and the District of Summerland shares the province’s recognition of the importance of making sure community members and agricultural workers remain safe.

The district worked with the Province, AGSafeBC, Interior Health, Ministry of Health BC Fruit Growers Association, and others to plan a temporary campground for seasonal workers with on-site management, COVID compliant precautions, protocols and sanitary conditions.

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