The improved Meyer lemon tree is grown as an ornamental tree, as well as for fruit, and does well in containers. (Monrovia)

Safe, clean campsites to be made available for seasonal fruit pickers in B.C.

One campsite is planned for the Oliver area in the southern Okanagan and two more are slated for Creston

The B.C. government says it is moving to protect residents and seasonal workers from COVID-19 while ensuring the temporary labourers have a safe place to stay as they work in orchards and fields this summer.

A statement from the Ministry of Agriculture says it is providing funds to local governments to create designated campsite accommodations.

The sites would meet health and safety requirements set by the provincial health officer to slow the spread of COVID-19.

One campsite is planned for the Oliver area in the southern Okanagan and two more are slated for Creston in southeastern B.C., with the province providing about $60,000 for each site.

The ministry says seasonal workers must also complete a new online COVID-19 awareness course outlining the rights and responsibilities of employers and workers to meet B.C.’s pandemic-related rules.

Camping accommodations are also being explored in Summerland, Osoyoos, Naramata and the Similkameen.

Agriculture Minister Lana Popham says creation of the campsites is a step toward ensuring community safety as well as the safety of seasonal workers, who are a “crucial part” of B.C.’s food supply system.

“Our government is protecting these workers and local residents by making sure workers have a safe place to camp and are educated on the rules and guidelines Dr. Bonnie Henry has put in place here in British Columbia,” Popham says in the statement.

The COVID-19 awareness course for seasonal workers includes information on physical distancing, hygiene and cleaning, work pods, transportation, tools and equipment, as well as safeguarding and monitoring health, the ministry says.

The course must be completed by any seasonal worker planning to stay at the campsites.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Trial of RCMP officer begins in Nelson’s Capitol Theatre

Jason Tait is charged with manslaughter after an incident in 2015

Nine new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases since the pandemic started is now at 531 for the region

Kaslo councillor admits to ‘baiting’ member of public in email exchange

Kaslo Village Council to consider adopting code of conduct

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Ahead of likely second wave, 60% of Canadians relaxing COVID-19 measures

Proportion of Canadians not following safety measures has dropped by 3 per cent in the past two weeks

Canada’s population tops 38 million, even as COVID-19 pandemic slows growth

Immigration, the top population driver, decreased due to the pandemic

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

Most Read