COVID-19 and the Future of Ontario’s Agricultural Workforce

The Canadian agricultural sector has been particularly effected by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to shortages in agricultural labour, the sector relies on the annual arrival of migrant workers, which in 2020 was disrupted due to the travel restrictions and quarantine orders enacted to fight the spread of this virus. As a result, many agricultural employers are struggling to find workers to cultivate their crops. This research initiative is designed to address this problem. In partnership with the Ontario Cooperative Association (OCA), the researchers will interview Ontario farmers to explore the full impact of these labour disruptions on their financial wellbeing, which will help the OCA’s members to communicate their needs to the federal and provincial. Additionally, the researchers will conduct an international search for strategies to better prepare the sector for future events which may similarly disrupt the agricultural labour supply.

William Louis Helps
Faculty Supervisor: 
Ryan Gibson
Partner University: