August 10, 2021 By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
On Aug. 6, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced $100 million would be available through the AgriRecovery framework to address the immediate, extraordinary costs faced by producers due to the drought and wildfires. This funding is designed to match all provincial AgriRecovery submissions on the 60-40 cost-shared basis outlined under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP). By making funding available now, producers can be assured that they will receive assistance as soon as full assessments are completed.
The Government of Canada is working around the clock to help the governments of Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia complete the assessments of the disaster and examine how AgriRecovery can help respond. Once these assessments are completed, the federal government will expedite work to finalize an agreement with each province on support programs. The government is open to submissions that include direct assistance to livestock producers for added costs of obtaining livestock feed, transportation and water.
Bibeau also announced that Manitoba is invoking the late participation provision of AgriStability. Provinces affected by drought are encouraged to invoke this provision to allow producers who did not enrol to access program support. Producers can also apply for interim payments under AgriStability, which can help cope with immediate financial challenges.
To date, the Government of Canada and the governments of Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba have agreed to increase the 2021 AgriStability interim benefit payment percentage from 50 per cent to 75 per cent, so producers can access a greater portion of their benefit when needed most. Bibeau repeated the federal government’s offer to provinces to raise the AgriStability compensation rate from 70 per cent to 80 per cent. This would provide farmers across the country with an additional $75 million per year, benefitting distressed farmers who need help now more than ever.
Bibeau also announced the designation for Livestock Tax Deferral of additional prescribed drought regions in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario. This adds to the list of prescribed drought regions across Canada announced on July 22. The designation will allow beef producers who are forced to sell a significant amount of their breeding herd due to drought conditions to offset the resulting revenues with the costs to replace the herd.
AgriInsurance helps producers manage production and quality losses caused by these adverse weather conditions, including drought. Bibeau highlighted the federal support to all Prairie provinces for immediate bilateral adjustments to the cost-shared AgriInsurance program to make drought-damaged crops available for feed. These measures will increase the amount of crops available for livestock producers in this time of need.
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