Upcoming Webinars: Surviving Covid-19, Workplace Inspections and WSIB.

A farmworker, considered an essential worker under the current COVID-19 pandemic guidelines, wears a mask as he works at a flower farm Wednesday, April 15, 2020, in Santa Paula, Calif. (April 2020)

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Covid-19 is going anywhere in Spring 2021.

Given that it’s the upcoming busy season for floriculture operations and workers, here’s a look at some upcoming webinars related to Covid safety, worker compensation, and surviving as a business during Covid.

So keep your calendars open on Feb 2nd, 3rd, 10th and 17th! More information on these webinars and registration can be found below.

Online Short Course: Production and Marketing of Woody & Herbaceous Ornamentals

WHAT: Nursery Growers 2021 Short Course: ‘GROWING AND THRIVING”.

WHEN: WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2021 Virtual Symposium | 9:00 a.m. – 2:50 p.m.

HOW: Registration is usually $95 but this year the price has been reduced to $25.00. The list of speakers and topics, as well as the registration link can be found at https://landscapeontario.com/nursery-growers-short-course-2021

Description: Although this is the annual Nursery Growers educational event, there are some topics pertinent to floriculture growers (both indoor and outdoor).

Topics include: IPM, Water Quality and Treatment, Irrigation Efficiency, Greenhouse Sanitation and Clean-out, Soil Health, Propagation, Plant ID, Pesticide Application Technology Resources and surviving Covid-19. Presentations are max 30 min and there will be breaks and lunch.

What You Might Have Missed!

OMAFRA’s Nursery Crop Specialist ran a Town Hall Meeting on grower and retailer experiences in the ornamental industry during Covid in late November. If you missed it, and want to hear about challenges and solutions as told by Ontario growers, check out the link to the recording here!

Workplace Inspections for Covid Safety:

WHAT: Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD) Temporary Foreign Agricultural Workers Initiative 2021

Name of Program
Workplace inspections re: Covid-19 will take place on farms starting in January.

WHEN: February 3, 2021 | 10:00 – 11:30am ET

HOW: https://www.meetview.com/wsps20210203/ to register

WHO: This webinar will be of interest to employers of temporary foreign agricultural workers in Ontario’s farming and agricultural sectors.

Session Description:
Recently Ontario has experienced new positive COVID-19 cases and outbreaks on farms in some areas. As part of Ontario’s outbreak management response, the Ministry of Labour will conduct proactive workplace inspections beginning mid-January 2021. These inspections focus on workplaces in the farming and agricultural sectors where temporary foreign agricultural workers are known to work.

Join us to learn more about this province-wide initiative, which aims to:

  • Raise awareness and compliance amoungst farm workers, supervisors and employers about COVID-19 health and safety requirements
  • Enhance protection for temporary foreign agricultural workers living and working on farming and agricultural operations in the province
  • Increase compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and applicable regulations in the farming community
  • Help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace and in the community

Webinar: WSIB and Covid Help

WHAT: WSIB and COVID-19: Here to Help in the Event of an Outbreak

WHEN: FEBRUARY 10, 2021 | 12 pm – 1 pm

WHO: Speaker: Kendra Holliday-Bryant, WSIB

HOW: This is a live event. Advance registration required. Click here to register

Description: The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board understands that a COVID-19 outbreak can be an overwhelming experience for an agricultural business during these changing times. The WSIB is here to help.

Please join Kendra Holliday-Bryant, Stakeholder Relations Manager for a session on how WSIB is able to work with you should you experience an outbreak. She will cover topics on reporting obligations, foreign agricultural worker policy, wage reimbursement, and the single point of contact process. The WSIB’s goal when an outbreak occurs is to get you back to what is important to you: running your business.

Webinar: Applying for Covid-Mitigation Funding

In case you missed my last post, OMAFRA is also running a webinar NEXT WEEK to help growers apply for Covid-mitigation funding through the Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program.

WHAT: Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program Webinar

WHEN: February 2nd, 12:00pm (1 hr)

HOW: Register for this Zoom meeting using the link below!

Description: Funding is available through this program to help eligible farm businesses with expenses related to the COVID-19 response. Bradley Shaw from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs will provide an overview of the program, eligible expenses and how to submit your application. A question and answer period will follow the presentation.

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