Canada's warmest welcome ®* July 28 2021

Press Release - Seasonal Workers in the Okanagan

osoyoos, canada's warmest welcome

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On July 15, 2010, the Town of Osoyoos hosted 25 representatives from the Ministry of Forests and Range, Ministry of Environment, Conservation Officer Service, RCMP, Bylaw Enforcement, BC Fruit Growers’ Association (BCFGA), Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen, (RDOS), Town of Oliver and Town of Osoyoos, to discuss issues related to seasonal workers in the Okanagan.


The focus was to discuss issues surrounding the seasonal fruit pickers and the community.  These workers are an integral part of the agricultural industry in the Okanagan, especially at harvest time.  A majority have come to our communities to work and enjoy the weather during the summer.


Three key issues were focused on – Accommodation, Transportation and Communication.

Accommodation:  The consensus was that a picker's camp similar to the one provided in Oliver's Secrest area known as "Loose Bay" would provide the best solution.  Work begon on the development of the criteria to support a camp taking into account public safety, health, environmental protection and the health and wellness of the workers themselves.  RDOS Area A Director, Mark Pendergraft, has agreed to take the lead and look at what options are available to accommodate a camp.  His findings will be brought forward for review at a future meeting (date to be determined). 

Transportation:  There was agreement that transportation of seasonal workers was an issue.  Further discussion in this regard is required. 

Communication:  It is important that consistent information be available for those wishing to come to this area to pick fruit.  Information on harvest times, employment, and location of accommodation is needed.  Social networking sites will be explored as an option.  The BCFGA has agreed to include a page on their website that will provide this information and all agencies will have the option of including this as a link on their respective websites.


In addition to internet communication, written pamphlets in both English and French will be made available and distributed by the various agencies.  BCFGA has a worker orientation program which they will use to pass on information.


The focus of this meeting was to look at solutions for accommodation for the workers that come to provide a service.  It was recognized that there is a small faction of the seasonal group that are not workers and have created issues within the Town of Osoyoos and outlining jurisdictions.  Council will be considering additional park enforcement at its council meeting on July 19, 2010 and will be working to identify other needs to ensure that all visitors and residents in Osoyoos can enjoy the parks and beaches.


Contact Information:


Stu Wells


Town of Osoyoos



Mark Pendergraft

Area A Director

Regional District Okanagan Similkameen



Joe Sardinha


BC Fruit Growers’ Association


While every reasonable effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this data, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions contained on these pages. Please verify any information in question with the Town of Osoyoos.   Town of Osoyoos
Box 3010, 8707 Main Street
Osoyoos, BC V0H 1V0
(TF) 1.888.495.6515
(T) 250.495.6515
(F) 250.495.2400


Mission Statement
To provide quality community services and facilities, which meet the needs of the current
and future residents of Osoyoos, in a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable manner.

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