Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program

Table of Contents

Overview

The Governments of Ontario and Canada are providing support for preventative occupational health and safety measures related to COVID-19.

Eligible submissions for project costs incurred on or after March 15, 2020 are received and assessed on a continuous basis, while funding is available or until February 26, 2021.

Project Category

Preventative Occupational Health and Safety Measures

Funding for projects to implement preventative occupational health and safety measures related to COVID-19 in operations with intensive use of labour

Businesses Eligible to Submit Expenses

  • An established farm business that is a legal entity and produces agricultural commodities in Ontario under a valid Farm Business Registration Number (FBRN), or an allowable exemption. The farm business must involve intensive use of labour where workers may operate within close proximity of one another, or where the operator is responsible for providing workers with on- or off-site accommodations
  • A business that is a legal entity located in Ontario that provides off- farm primary packing services (e.g., cooling, washing, sorting, packaging, storing) for primary agricultural commodities (e.g., fruits and vegetables) and makes intensive use of labour where workers may operate within close proximity of one another, or where the operator is responsible for providing workers with on- or off-site accommodations
  • A business that is a legal entity located in Ontario that provides corn detasseling services and makes intensive use of labour where workers may operate within close proximity of one another

Available Cost-Share Funding

  • 70 per cent funding of eligible expenses, to the following limits:

    For Farm Businesses (Non-Aquaculture):

  • Funding is limited to $15,000 per business
  • Funding is limited to $15,000 per property
  • Up to $8,250 of the $15,000 is available to support expenses for disposable PPE
  • The $15,000 limit is calculated based on the amount of all payments made under both this project category (i.e., Preventative Occupational Health and Safety Measures, under the Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program) and the previous Program that was in place prior to June 12, 2020 (i.e., Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program for Producers)

    For Aquaculture Farm Businesses, Off-Farm Packing Services and Corn Detasseling Services:

  • Funding is limited to $7,500 per business
  • Funding is limited to $7,500 per property

To Submit Expenses, an Eligible Business Must

  • Have a written plan that documents steps in place to limit the spread of disease throughout the operation. The written plan must be supported by the relevant union or health and safety committee, if applicable
  • Submit a copy of the written plan with the completed Submission Form

Eligible Activities

Activities necessary to address an immediate health and safety issue directly related to COVID-19 response:

  • Modifications throughout an agricultural operation, worker housing, or worker transportation systems to ensure appropriate safety with regards to physical distancing needs (e.g., physical barriers)
  • Providing workers with personal protective equipment and other approved safety supplies for use throughout an agricultural operation, worker housing or worker transportation systems
  • Cleaning and disinfection throughout an agricultural operation, worker housing or worker transportation systems
  • Providing arrangements to support worker accommodations and work-site mobility that are necessary to address an immediate health and safety issue

Eligible Expenses

Incremental expenses specifically required for the implementation of eligible activities that are:

  • incurred on or after March 15, 2020 invoiced and paid for prior to submission
  • procured through a transaction with a third-party that is at Arm's Length* from the business that incurred and paid for the expense
  • procured through a process that is transparent, fair and promotes the best value for the money expended at competitive prices no greater than fair market value after deducting available discounts

For the following expenses:

Physical distancing
  • Measures that enable workers to practice physical distancing: minor capital (physical/infrastructure), temporary or permanent modifications (e.g., reconfigurations, shielding, barriers), and rental of temporary structures
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • PPE and other safety supplies for workers (e.g., masks, gloves and other protective gear)
    • There is a limit to funding available for disposable PPE for farm businesses (non-aquaculture)
    • $8,250 of the $15,000 in funding available to a farm business (non-aquaculture) can be used to purchase disposable PPE. A farm business can submit expenses of up to $11,786 for disposable PPE to receive reimbursement of up to $8,250.
    • The full $7,500 in funding available to an aquaculture farm business, an off-farm packing service, or a corn detasseling service can be used to purchase disposable PPE.
Preventing disease spread
  • Medical equipment (e.g., body temperature remote sensors, thermometers and cameras; COVID-related testing equipment)
  • Cleaning/disinfection equipment and supplies to increase frequency and extent of cleaning
  • Third party services (e.g., third-party services to perform medical checks, third party cleaning services to increase frequency and extent of cleaning)
Accommodation and transportation
  • Short-term accommodations (e.g., hotel, dorm rentals) to enable physical distancing best practices and allow workers to attend workplaces to the limit of $80.00 per day per worker
  • Work-site mobility and transportation to enable workers to access the work site while practicing physical distancing best practices to the limit of $60.00 per day per worker

*Arm's Length: an entity that is not related, not affiliated, or otherwise controlled by another member or members within the meaning of section 251 of the Income Tax Act (Canada). If you have any questions about whether a supplier meets this requirement, please contact OMAFRA at 1-877-424-1300.

Ineligible Expenses

  • Expenses to address usual business practices, expansion or any other non-COVID-19 related objectives
  • Expenses related to retail or other on-site sales activities
  • Expenses for activities/practices that are not in accordance with any standard or guideline of an appropriate authority (e.g., Ontario Ministry of Labour)
  • In-kind contributions
  • Meal expenses
  • Deposits (prepayments) for which goods or services are not yet fully received
  • Expenses of vehicles, transportation equipment, mobile material handling equipment (powered or unpowered), and construction and agriculture machinery (e.g., farm equipment)
  • Employee wages
  • Expenses of permits and approvals
  • Financing charges, loan and lease interest payments, bank fees and charges as well as debt restructuring or fundraising
  • Taxes, including Harmonized Sales Tax
  • The refundable or rebateable portion of any expense for which the business receives or is eligible to receive a refund or rebate
  • Costs incurred in preparing a submission

Submission Process

  • Eligible businesses can complete a submission form and provide all required documentation to request reimbursement for eligible expenses.
  • Required documentation that must be provided with the submission form includes a copy of the businesses' written plan that documents steps in place to limit the spread of disease throughout the operation, and copies of all invoices and proofs of payment.
  • Businesses must complete and submit forms according to the instructions given on the form.
  • Businesses may continue to complete and submit forms to request reimbursement for eligible expenses provided the intake is open to accept submissions and the business/property has not reached the applicable funding limit.

Assessment Process

  • All complete submissions received are evaluated based only on the information submitted. Submissions will not be considered if they do not meet eligibility criteria or if they are incomplete.
  • Complete submissions that meet eligibility criteria will be considered on a continuous basis while funding is available.

Terms and Conditions

In order to be considered for funding under the Enhanced Workplace Protection Program ('the Program'), an eligible business must agree to be bound by the Terms and Conditions herein.

The business must be a legal entity that meets all eligibility requirements as set out above.

The individual who submits the submission form must be a person who is authorized by the eligible business to submit the form on behalf of the eligible business and to bind the eligible business to the contents herein. The eligible business is referred to as the business below.

By submitting the form, the individual is:

Certifying to

  • Having read, understood and abided by all Program requirements, as well as being in agreement to continue to abide by all Program requirements. These requirements include that:
    • It was necessary for the business to incur each expense submitted in order to address an immediate health and safety issue impacting the business that is directly related to COVID-19 and listed in the Program Guideline.
    • No ineligible expenses (as listed in the Program Guideline) are being submitted.
    • Health and safety measures related to each expense submitted are in place at the time of submission, or otherwise will be put in place no later than 30 days after the date the form is submitted.
    • Each expense submitted was incurred by the business meaning the business was liable to pay the expense, on or after March 15, 2020.
    • Each expense submitted has already been invoiced to the business and paid for by the business.
    • Each expense submitted was incurred by the business through a transaction with a third party that was:
      • At Arm's Length, namely an entity that is not related, not affiliated, or otherwise controlled by another member or members within the meaning of section 251 of the Income Tax Act (Canada); and
      • Transparent, fair, and promotes the best value for the money expended at competitive prices no greater than fair market value after deducting available discounts.
    • All information submitted on the submission form is true and complete, to the best of your knowledge, belief and understanding.
    • The business is in compliance with all Requirements of the Law, namely all applicable statutes, regulations, by-laws, ordinances, codes, official plans, rules, approvals, permits, licenses, authorizations, orders, decrees, injunctions, directions, agreements and Program Guidelines.
    • Amounts of funding sourced from federal, provincial and municipal governments for a submitted expense do not, and will not, exceed 100 per cent of the amount of the expense.
    • The business does not currently owe any money to Ontario, or a description of the business' debt to Ontario is attached to the submission form.
    • No officer, director or employee of the business, or other beneficiary of the expenses, is a current or former federal public office holder or federal public servant, or, if any officer, director or employee of the business is a current or former federal public officer holder or federal public servant, they are in compliance with the Conflict of Interest Act, the Conflict of Interest Code for Members of the House of Commons, the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector, and the Policy on Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment, as applicable.

Certifying that the business

  • Will retain all records relating to any payments made to the business, including all invoices and proof of payment in an organized and business-like manner for at least seven (7) years from the date the submission form was submitted.
  • Will consent to Ontario or Canada publishing information about the health and safety measures ('Activities') funded including the amount of funding the business has been approved to receive and/or has received, and the nature and results of any Activities funded, along with the business' name.
  • Will use as part of its Activities and retain ownership, possession and control of any tangible asset with a fair market value of over $10,000 purchased, contributed, constructed, developed or otherwise acquired by the business under this Program for at least two years following acquisition. For greater certainty, this includes refraining from leasing or otherwise encumbering these tangible assets. Further, 'fair market value' means the highest price that would be agreed to in an open and unrestricted market between knowledgeable, informed and willing parties acting at arm's length, who are under no compulsion to transact.
  • Has received and is in possession of clear evidence that any relevant union or health and safety committee for the business or property supports the business' written plan documenting steps in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Acknowledging and accepting that

  • Ontario reserves the right to refuse to accept the submission form where it is not completed to Ontario's satisfaction.
  • Funding is provided through a discretionary, non-entitlement program and the business is not entitled to funding merely as a consequence of submitting a submission form. Payment is subject to Ontario having sufficient money within its existing budget, including receiving all the necessary appropriations from the Ontario Legislature and all the necessary monies from Canada; the business and the business' Activities satisfying eligibility criteria and eligible expense criteria; and the business' compliance with all terms and conditions.
  • If it is determined the business has received a payment the business was not eligible to receive, through administrative error or otherwise, the business will repay any and all payments that the business was not eligible to receive as well as any surplus funding.
  • Any payments made to the business may be subject to recovery or offset against the business' pre-existing debts to the Crown in Right of Ontario or of Canada. Ontario may charge interest on any money owing by the business at the then current rate charged by Ontario on accounts receivable.
  • Ontario or Canada including their respective Ministers, directors, officers, agents, employees or representatives (as applicable), shall not be liable for any damage or loss whatsoever, or howsoever arising, including damage or loss arising from any advice, opinions, representations, warranties or the provision of information.
  • The rights and obligations under the Program are governed by Ontario law and applicable federal laws of Canada. The Courts of Ontario will have exclusive jurisdiction over any proceedings related to the Program.
  • The information provided may be used and disclosed to conduct audits, enforce the terms and conditions of the Program, confirm that the person in receipt of payments under the Program paid taxes on the payments, and collect any debt owing.
  • The information, with the exception of the Social Insurance Number (SIN) provided by sole proprietors, members of unincorporated entities and partners in a partnership where they do not have Canada Revenue Agency business numbers, may be used and disclosed to, amongst other things, verify compliance with other provincial and federal funding initiatives, confirm the information provided, verify eligibility and ensure there is no duplication of funding.
  • The information provided may, with the exception of the SIN, be subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Ontario) or the Access to Information Act (Canada).
  • Any money received under the Program is for the administration of a social or economic program or for the provision of direct or indirect support to members of the public in connection with social and economic policy.

Consenting to the following on behalf of the business

  • To provide accurate, timely and full information, including supporting documentation, to Ontario and notify Ontario immediately in the event there are any changes to the information provided.
  • To provide Canada, Ontario and their authorized representatives with any information or access to a person, place or thing within the timelines provided by Ontario, Canada or their authorized representatives.
  • To comply with onsite field inspections and/or audits by Ontario and Ontario's authorized representatives upon notice, and during normal business hours, to verify eligibility, and to evaluate compliance with the requirements of the Program.
  • To comply with reviews by Ontario of information related to other programs and initiatives delivered by, or for, Ontario in which the business is enrolled or has applied.
  • The use of the business' name and contact information by Ontario or Canada to contact the business for the purpose of evaluating the effectiveness and efficiency of programming, or for any other similar purpose.
  • To acknowledge Canada and Ontario's support in the following manner where the business receives funding under this Program: "The [insert what health and safety COVID-related measures were funded] is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Agriculture and Agri-food Canada."

In the event of a conflict between anything set out in Guidelines and the Minister's Order 0004/2020 under which this Program is created, the Minister's Order will prevail.

Errors and Omissions Excepted.

General Qs & As

Q Who determines whether the Workplace Safety Plan is adequate and is that a requirement in order to receive funding through this program?

In order to be reimbursed for incurred expenses, employers must submit a copy of a written plan documenting steps in place to limit the spread of disease throughout the operation.

The written plan must be supported by the relevant union or health and safety committee, if applicable.

Staff from the ministry may follow-up with employers with questions about their safety plan.

For more information about developing a COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan, you may wish to visit: Develop your COVID-19 workplace safety plan.

Q. What information must I provide as part of the submission process?

Employers must have a written plan documenting steps in place to limit the spread of disease throughout the operation.

For more information about developing a COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan, you may wish to visit: Develop your COVID-19 workplace safety plan.

The written plan must be supported by the relevant union or health and safety committee, if applicable.

Employers must submit a copy of this plan along with their Submission Form and provide copies of all invoices and proofs of payment to request reimbursement for eligible expenses.

Employers must complete and submit forms according to the instructions given on the form. You may continue to complete and submit forms to request reimbursement for eligible expenses provided the intake is open to accept submissions.

The electronic Preventative Occupational Health and Safety submission form is available here.

The Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program also provides funding support to eligible employers faced with extraordinary costs related to worker isolation and employee wage supports due to a positive COVID-19 test result or a Public Health Unit/Ministry of Labour Training and Skills Development order.

More information is available here.

Resources

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For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
E-mail: ag.info.omafra@ontario.ca