Funding for Quebec processors, including Levitts Food Canada
The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, is providing up to $12.8 million through the Emergency Processing Fund for 135 food processing companies in Quebec. Minister Bibeau announced this support to delegates of the Quebec Food Processing Council (CTAQ) ahead of their annual general meeting.
With this funding, recipients are adopting measures to help keep employees safe and increase their capacity. This includes making adjustments to enable social distancing, purchasing reuseable personal protective equipment (PPE), increasing cleaning, improving air circulation within their facilities and developing employee training. These improvements are supporting the food self-sufficiency in Quebec by helping processors secure their operation.
Minister Bibeau spoke alongside representatives of Charcuterie Scotstown and Aliments Levitts, meat processors in Scotstown and LaSalle, which are both receiving up to nearly $100,000. With EPF support, Charcuterie Scotstown expanded their refrigeration and storage capacity and made changes to ensure safe social distancing for their employees. Aliments Levitts used its funding to relocate workstations and reconfigure major sections of its plant.
The Government of Canada will continue working with food processors to protect the health and well-being of workers in food processing plants across Canada and strengthen our food supply chain.
“Food businesses across Quebec have stepped up in the face of all the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through these emergency investments to 135 food processors across the province, the Government of Canada is improving worker safety and strengthening the food self-sufficiency in Quebec.” – The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
“Food processors in the region play an integral role in our communities and continue to deliver high-quality food for Canadians. Keeping these workers safe while ensuring they can remain open is a priority for the government.” – Anju Dhillon, Member of Parliament for Dorval—Lachine—LaSalle, Quebec
“The Quebec Food Processing Council is honoured to have been designated to manage the Emergency Processing Fund in Quebec in support of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Our involvement has allowed food processors to quickly access financial assistance to implement quickly access financial assistance to implement sanitary measures and protect the health and safety of workers and their families” – Sylvie Cloutier, President and CEO, the Quebec Food Processing Council
“With the help of the Emergency Fund, we have expanded our production space to double the size. We made this space safe and highly functional. We have maintained vital jobs for our community facing devastation while protecting our employees. We would like to thank them for their diligence and hard work.” – Pierre-Jean Désilets, owner Charcuterie Scotstown
“The effectiveness of the program has allowed us to quickly proceed with major reorganizations of some of our production rooms to ensure of our employees could social distance and the implementation of new procedures and tools. These investments ensured the safety of our employees and the continuity of our operations.” – Jean-François Desjardins, President of Levitts Foods Canada Inc.
• This funding includes 18 previously announced projects through the Emergency Processing Fund in Quebec.
• Announced in May 2020, the $77.5-million Emergency Processing Fund is helping food processors implement measures to protect the health and safety of workers and their families in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with an emphasis on supporting meat processing facilities in Canada. The Fund also supports facility upgrades to help strengthen Canada’s food supply. A further $10 million is expected to be allocated from internal funds, which would bring the total to $87.5M.
• The Quebec Food Processing Council supports delivery of the Emergency Processing Fund in Quebec
• There are over 2,400 food processing businesses in Québec, representing a wide range of sectors, producing approximately $1.3 billion in sales per year and supporting more than 11,500 jobs.
• Today’s announcement builds on other measures introduced to keep Canada’s agri-workforce strong, including:
o almost $85 million in funding for the Mandatory Isolation Support Program for Temporary Foreign Workers to 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; and,
o a $35-million Emergency On-Farm Support Fund to boost protections for domestic and temporary foreign workers and address COVID-19 outbreaks on farms.
Backgrounder – Database: Emergency Processing Fund projects in Quebec
• Emergency Processing Fund
• Charcuterie Scotstown
• Aliments Levitts
• The Quebec Food Processing Council
• Supporting Canada’s farmers, food businesses, and food supply
• Supporting farmers and food businesses to help feed Canada during COVID-19