The Town of Oliver is anticipating taking part in a no-cost pilot project called “Supercluster” that will evaluate policies related to public health measures during the pandemic.
Corporate Officer Diane Vaykovich said the Town received a request from the University of BC to participate in a Digital Supercluster Projec , in which the Town will be involved in.
Mayor Martin Johansen said a particular concern to Oliver is the policy decision (or lack thereof) respecting domestic farm workers arriving to support the agricultural economy.
Johansen said the growing season is now underway with temporary farm workers arriving from all over the world, including Mexico and Quebec (300 to 400 workers).
He said higher levels of government have developed policies for temporary farm workers, but no direct policies have been established for domestic workers.
“The concern is paramount in the community with the domestic workers arriving from Quebec with no set policies and processes in place for these workers to receive the necessary supports if they become infected by COVID-19,” Johansen said.
He raised an additional concern that COVID-19 cases are much higher in Quebec than B.C.
“The Oliver health facilities would be quickly overwhelmed if an outbreak were to occur.”