Local Filipinos talk about coronavirus outbreak at Cargill meat processing plant in Canada

by Marjorie Carmona Newman, ABS CBN News

Fil-Canadians offer help to those impacted by the Cargill meat processing plant COVID-19 outbreak

EDMONTON — This is the town of High River in Alberta, home to more than 2,000 Filipinos.

Many of them worked at Cargill meat processing plant, which was closed due to an outbreak of COVID-19.

Reports showed more than 900 workers of the plant — many of them Filipino — tested positive for COVID-19, the largest single-site outbreak in Canada.

In this time of great need, the Philippine Business Association of Alberta conducted relief operations to High River over the weekend to help affected fellow Filipinos.

“Tumulong po tayo sa ating mga kabayan sa High River and also sa mga na lay-off sa Cargill naka quarantine sila because of COVID-19 po. Tumulong po ang PBSA nagayon, lahat po ng donation, nag ipon ng pera para makapagbigay po ng relief goods, mga pagkain at iba pa,” said president Bayani Alcantara.

“We are here to help our fellow Filipinos in High River and also those laid off workers of Cargill, those on quarantine because of COVID-19. PBSA is helping now. All the donations, people have been saving up to give away relief goods, food and others.”

Evelyn Maquina Burnett, a longtime resident of High River, tested positive for COVID-19.

She claimed she got it from a fellow Filipino, who is also a co-worker at the meat processing plant.

Nut Burnett is grateful she survived, and has been cleared of COVID-19.

She added it was not the virus that was killing her but the isolation that caused her to go into depression.

Burnett also heard alleged reports of fellow Filipinos being discriminated against because of the outbreak… Like not being allowed entry to some local stores and groceries.

Burnett and her husband assisted the PBSA in distributing groceries to Filipinos in High River.

They refused to comment on the meat plant re-opening this week, saying the matter is being handled by their union.

The union has expressed concerns about the safety of workers going back to work at the meat plant.

No matter where Filipinos migrate in times of need, the bayanihan spirit comes to light.

The bayanihan spirit shows us that we have one common enemy–the virus and but one universal response- that is the call to charity.

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  • Mario
    7 May 2020 at 1:40 am - Reply

    Talking of Meat product, US has a shortage of meat, the American does not know that the biggest top 5 meat processing Corp. is own by CHINESES from China. They can control and can paralyzed US food and meat supplies. This sale of foods and processing started during the Bill Clinton era and ended until the OBAMA Administration. The corrupt Democrat lobbyist would sell your daughters skin if they could make a Dollar from the Chinese. NATHAN’s famous HOT DOGS, SMITHFIELD FOODS bought during the Obama Admin they own ARMOUR Smithfield Ham, they bought the most advance meat processing plant in the world. Bought by WAN LONG former foot soldier of MAO ZEDONG. They buy farmland up to 146K Acre. Canada has a limit up to 10,000 Acre of farmland, they buy the factory, they buy the animal, they own ONE in every 4 pig raised in the US, every time you eat their product you are funding the Chinese Communist Party. TRUMP already prepared those strategical products including food and Medicine which the Chinese control. Wake up Amrican….