OGVG Positioning on Leamington’s Proposed OPA 08 and ZBA 221
April 29, 2021
It is the position of OGVG that, in agreement with options A1 and D1 of the Clerk’s report concerning Farm Dwellings and Boarding Houses for Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs), all current structures may continue to exist; provided the accommodation meets the required threshold of square footage per person and is in compliance with all existing Fire, Health and Building Code requirements.
Economic Impact to the Industry, Community and Municipality
Any decision concerning TFW housing will have a direct economic impact through housing supply, labour availability, and regional economic opportunity which affects the greenhouse industry, the community and municipality at large.
Practicality of Regulations and Permit Process
As indicated in the Clerk’s report, any decision other than the options of A1 and D1 will cause undue financial strain and potential economic burden to the Municipality. Any alternate decision will further burden an already strained process of Site Control Plans and Building Permits.
TFW housing facilities have been relentlessly inspected due to the COVID-19 pandemic and have met Fire, Health and Building Code requirements. Mechanisms currently exist and remain underutilized to combat bad actors.
Temporary Help Agencies
OGVG supports the efforts of law enforcement and the Municipality in identifying and ending disreputable Temporary Help Agencies who overfill housing accommodations, for profit, with no standard. OGVG is supporting the Flex Force initiative to disrupt the actions of disreputable agencies.
OGVG Membership have established a high standard for housing, actively exploring all alternatives to provide high quality accommodations for TFWs. We continue to be national leaders in safe accommodations, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The OGVG is seeking to work with the municipality to ensure proper infrastructure is in place to support growth of housing in both the community and on farms, as well as sustainable development of the greenhouse sector. Lack of new infrastructure concerning municipally serviced sewage, water, and safe transit pathways (e.g. bike lanes) only impede regional progress.
OGVG members support TFWs in our communities. Any decision concerning Farm Dwellings and/or Boarding Houses for TFWs must consistent with same criteria as for any other Canadian.