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April 14, 2021 Issues & Insights

Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program

Applications for the 2021 program year will be accepted until 6:00 p.m. EST April 21, 2021 or until funding has been fully committed or until otherwise announced by the program. The 2021 program year begins on January 1, 2021 and will provide funding for workers who arrive in Canada on or after January 1, 2021 and up to April 21, 2021, or the expiry or repeal of the Order under Quarantine Act, whichever comes first.

The Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program (MISTFWP) is a one-time $84.4-million program to help with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on food supply in Canada by assisting the farming, fish harvesting, and food production and processing sectors. The program will assist Canadian employers with some of the incremental costs associated with the mandatory 14-day isolation period imposed under the Quarantine Act on temporary foreign workers upon entering Canada.

The MISTFWP will provide a maximum non-repayable contribution amount of $1,500 for each temporary foreign worker. Should an applicant receive assistance from a provincial or territorial government to help cover these costs, or the $1,500 exceeds their incremental costs per employee, the total contribution may be reduced.

The federal investment of up to $84.4-million will be available until fully depleted and, as long as the order under the Quarantine Act is in force and the isolation protocol has to be followed.

UPDATE: To ensure farmers have access to labour, Budget 2021 allocated $57.6 million to extend the MISTFWP to August 31, 2021. 

Under this initiative, support of up to $1,500 per worker would be provided to employers until June 15, 2021 for some of the costs associated with the mandatory 14-day isolation period. After June 15, 2021, employers would receive $750 per worker until the wind-down of the program on August 31, 2021.

Additional support – up to $2,000 per worker – would also be available to employers to help offset a portion of costs associated with workers who are required to quarantine at a government-approved facility because they cannot travel by private means directly to their place of quarantine. 

Details will be shared on AAFC’s website once they are available.

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