NORFOLK COUNTY, ONTARIO – The Brandon Gonez Show has confirmed that the worker who died on August 14th at Berlo’s Best Farm in Norfolk County, two hours southwest of Toronto, was 57-year-old Garvin Yapp, of St. James, Jamaica.
While Canadian officials have remained tight-lipped on the incident, citing an ongoing investigation, they did confirm that the deceased was a temporary foreign worker. Meanwhile, Jamaica’s Ministry of Labour and Social Security confirmed Mr. Yapp’s identity.
The Jamaican ministry also confirmed Mr. Yapp had worked with the Ministry’s Farm Work Program in Canada for the last 35 years. He was a beloved father and husband.
The Ontario Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) told The Brandon Gonez Show that on August 14th officials were informed of a death that occurred at a farm in Norfolk County. Ministry officials say the person was fatally injured while using farm equipment.
An Investigation is Ongoing
The MLITSD confirmed to The Brandon Gonez Show that a ministry inspector attended the scene on the 14th. The following day two inspectors and an engineer returned to the scene to continue the investigation. Ontario officials say that an investigation into the worker’s death is ongoing.
This news comes as temporary foreign workers from Jamaica have written a letter to the Jamaican government, saying they are subjected to substandard working and living conditions on numerous farms across Canada.
“We are living in a First World country but at both these farms rats are eating our food. We do not have clothes dryers so when it rains we are forced to wear cold, wet clothing to work. We live in crowded rooms and have zero privacy. There are cameras around the houses so it feels like we are in prison,” reads a letter reportedly sent from workers to the Jamaica Observer.
Treatment of Temporary Workers from Jamaica a Longstanding Issue
Many people took to social media to say that the treatment of temporary foreign workers who come to Canada has been a longstanding issue.
“The situation isn’t getting any better. When will the jamaican government hold the liaison officers to do their jobs. Alot of times the workers tell the officers what is happening and nothing is done,” said another person.
Jamaica’s Minister of Labour and Social Security Karl Samuda is currently touring farms in Canada and has expressed sadness at the death of Mr. Yapp.
The Brandon Gonez Show reached out to Minister Samuda and the Jamaican Ministry of Labour and Social Security. They had not responded at the time of publication.