OTTAWA – Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced that the Government of Canada has increased total AgriRecovery funding to up to $500 million to address extraordinary costs faced by producers due to drought and wildfires. This includes initial funding of $100 million announced on August 6, 2021.
Given the extraordinary circumstances that farmers in Western Canada and parts of Ontario are facing, this increased funding ensures the federal government is ready to contribute to eligible provincial AgriRecovery costs on the 60-40 cost-shared basis outlined under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
The Government of Canada and the governments of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario continue to work with the utmost urgency to complete joint assessments of the disaster and launch support programs. This will include direct assistance to affected livestock and agricultural producers, and help them with added costs of obtaining livestock feed, transportation and water.
Producers can also apply for interim payments under AgriStability to help them cope with immediate financial challenges. The Government of Canada and the governments of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario have agreed to increase the 2021 AgriStability interim benefit payment percentage from 50% to 75%, so producers can access a greater portion of their benefit early to meet their urgent needs. British Columbia and Manitoba have also opened up late participation in AgriStability to farmers who did not register in 2021 so they can benefit from this important income support.
In addition to this support, the Government of Canada announced designations for Livestock Tax Deferral on July 22, 2021, and August 6, 2021, for prescribed drought regions in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. This 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.
“Our Government is doing everything it can to support farm families so they can get through these challenges today, and be better positioned for a sustainable future. Today’s commitment of up to half a billion dollars shows we stand ready to contribute our share toward AgriRecovery programs with the provinces. We are united in our goal of ensuring that farmers are fully supported through this crisis.” – The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food