Lack of funds could close isolation centre

Windsor City Hall, December 2019. (Photo by Maureen Revait)

The isolation centre for temporary foreign workers in Windsor may close due to lack of funding.

The City of Windsor has been operating the centre with the Canadian Red Cross with funding from Public Safety Canada since November 2020.

According to a letter written by Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens to the Minister of Health the funding avenue has changed to a Public Health Agency of Canada grant. About $2-million of the operating costs would not be covered under the new funding model.

In the letter, Dilkens indicates the centre will close at the end of March if the Public Health Agency of Canada does not grant the city full funding for operational costs.

“On the face of it, this is not a challenge that the City of Windsor necessarily needs to take ownership for. As you are aware, the farms in question operate largely in Leamington and Kingsville, in the neighbouring Essex County,” said Dilkens. “While I am in frequent contact with my neighbouring municipal elected officials, it is clear that they would have lacked the local resources to operate such an [Isolation and Recovery Centre] without support from the City of Windsor.”

Dilkens is proposing the current arrangement be grandfathered into the new funding model to allow the site to continue to operate as is.