Laval and Montreal food processors receive support to protect employees

News release

November 12, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Today, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, joined Montpak and other Laval and Montreal area food processors, to highlight the almost $2 million in investments under the Emergency Processing Fund for nine local food processors to support their efforts in keeping their employees safe and our food system strong.

Altogether, the nine processors employ approximately 14,500 workers. This funding will support these processors to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE), and reorganize their operations to help ensure physical distancing of employees.

These investments include $686,779 for Montpak International Inc. and $346,340 for Saputo Dairy Products Canada, to support investments in employee health, safety and security measures as a result of Covid-19.

The seven other local food processors approved for up to $899,273 include Les Aliments Fontaine Sante Inc., Premium Brands Holdings Corporation, Goodfood Market Corp. Bassé & Frères Alimentation Orientale, Lantic Inc.,Prana Biovegan Inc, and Distillerie Blue Pearl Inc.

The Emergency Processing Fund is focused on projects that respond to the urgent health and safety needs of workers in agri-food sectors impacted by COVID-19, with an emphasis on supporting meat processing facilities in Canada.

The Government of Canada will continue working with food processors to ensure the well-being of essential workers in food processing plants across Canada while strengthening the resilience of our food supply chain. 


"Workers in the agri-food sector, in particular those working in meat processing, have faced many challenges throughout this pandemic and the Government has been there to support them. Ensuring the safety of these essential workers is key to continue providing safe, high quality food for all Canadians."

- The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

"Throughout this pandemic, food processors like Montpak International, have been at the forefront of Canada's food system. The announced federal funding, will allow the implementation of stronger health, safety and security measures, in line with sanitary requirements, for the wellbeing of the workers and the consumers."

- Angelo Iacono, Member of Parliament for Alfred-Pellan

"The health and safety of our employees is a top priority for us and we are extremely grateful to have been able to benefit from this funding, which has enabled us to protect our employees during the pandemic. These funds allowed us to incorporate technology to protect our employees and modify our infrastructure to ensure physical distancing."

- Alexandre Fontaine, President and Chief Executive Officer, Montpak International

Quick facts

  • 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. It also supports facility upgrades and help strengthen Canada's food supply.

  • There are over 2,400 food processing businesses in Quebec, representing a wide range of sectors and exports over $8 billion in food products a year.

  • This announcement builds on the measures we have introduced to keep Canada's agri-workforce strong, including:

    • Travel exemptions for all migrant workers, including seasonal agricultural workers and fish/seafood workers.
    • $50 million in funding for the Mandatory Isolation Support Program for Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) to help protect the health and safety of migrant workers in farming, fish harvesting, and food production by helping processing sectors cover the incremental costs associated with the mandatory 14-day isolation period imposed under the Quarantine Act on migrant workers upon entering Canada.
  • $7.5M under the Emergency On-Farm Support Fund to protect farm workers in Quebec, which will help approximately 1000 farmers in Quebec.

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Jean-Sébastien Comeau
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
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