Dear Hon. Deputy Minister Menard, Dr. Huyer and Mr. Anderson,
We write to you to highlight the urgent need for a broad province-wide strategy to protect the health of migrant agricultural workers during the COVID-19 crisis. A growing number of outbreaks in the migrant worker communities and two deaths in the Windsor-Essex area have made it clear that this group is one of the most at-risk in Ontario.
Over the past week – and the weeks, months and years before this – we at the Alliance for Healthier Communities have seen the impact of historical and present-day racism, inequity, violence and inaction on our member organizations and the communities they serve.
We are writing to express our concern over reopening Ontario’s economy before public health protections are more fully established.
The high number of PSWs among healthcare workers who have died to date makes it clear that too little is being done to support these essential workers and reduce their risk.
Dear Minister Elliott and Minister Smith,
Ontario’s most recent COVID-19 modelling, released on April 20, suggests we have reached the pandemic peak. By all accounts this represents a provincial turning point. But gains in slowing the spread of the virus are not equally felt or shared by all. The terms “community spread” and “congregate settings” obscure important differences in how this virus is spreading inequitably, and limit our ability to target scarce community resources where they are most needed.
Dear Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Elliott,
Ontario must bring a health equity lens to new COVID-19 test technologies and data tools