Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Migrant workers won't be banned

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OTTAWA will still allow migrant Mexican workers to come to Canada this year -- including an estimated 90 seasonal workers headed for Portage la Prairie-area farms -- despite worries over a potential swine flu pandemic, federal officials said Monday.

But the government will step up screening of migrants before they arrive, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said Monday.

All migrant workers will have to fill out a questionnaire and undergo a physical examination and fever check by two doctors before being cleared for departure to Canada. The examinations will occur in Mexico when the workers go to pick up their work permits.

Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said she directed the Public Health Agency of Canada to send two people to Mexico to help with screening and lab supports. Aglukkaq said the two are already in Mexico.

Seasonal workers from Mexico are critical to portions of Manitoba's agriculture industry. Provincial Agriculture Minister Rosann Wowchuk said about 90 Mexicans worked in the area last year, tending vegetable crops.

 

-- Staff

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 28, 2009 A3

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