PEI

P.E.I. social assistance recipients may soon do farm work without affecting benefits

The P.E.I. government is considering a program that would allow people on social assistance to earn money working in the agriculture industry, without affecting their benefits.

Province looking at similar model in Nova Scotia

The P.E.I. government is considering a program that would allow social assistance clients to earn money working in the agriculture industry, without affecting their social assistance benefits.

The province has been in talks with Nova Scotia regarding its program, called Harvest Connection. It allows clients to earn up to $3,000 a year harvesting crops such as berries, apples and vegetables.

"It has some value to it, it certainly does," said Tina Mundy, P.E.I.'s minister of Family Services and Seniors.

"If it fits with Islanders, and with the needs of Islanders, we'd definitely be looking at partnerships if industry might have an interest in it."

Five years ago members of the P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture voted to lobby the provincial government to bring in a program like Harvest Connection.

Alan McIsaac, P.E.I.'s Agriculture and Fisheries minister, said the program would be a good way to address the annual shortage of farm workers on the Island.

With files from Kerry Campbell

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