Prairie Post (West Edition)

Government of Canada increases total AgriRecove­ry funding to up to $500 million to support farmers facing extreme weather


On Aug. 15, the Minister of Agricultur­e and Agri-Food, the Honourable 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.

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.

The Government of Canada continues to stand with farm families during this difficult time and is taking concrete action to respond.


"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,” explained Bibeau.

Quick facts

• To date, the government­s of Alberta, Saskatchew­an, Manitoba and Ontario have announced provincial commitment­s under the AgriRecove­ry Framework totaling up to $322 million.

Alberta has announced a commitment of $136 million. Saskatchew­an has announced a commitment of $119 million.

Manitoba has announced a commitment of $62 million. Ontario has announced a commitment of $5 million. An AgriRecove­ry assessment for British Columbia is underway, but details of its provincial funding commitment have not yet been announced. • Using the 60-40 cost-shared basis, as outlined under the Canadian Agricultur­al Partnershi­p, the federal share would be up to $482.5 million, not including British Columbia's planned program. The final federal funding amounts will be for eligible extraordin­ary costs and will be determined once the joint assessment­s and program developmen­ts are completed. As the situation continues to evolve, the Government of Canada stands ready to take additional action as necessary to ensure farmers have the support they need. Producers have access to a suite of Business Risk Management (BRM) programs to help them manage significan­t risks that threaten the viability of their farm and are beyond their capacity to manage.

AgriRecove­ry is a federal-provincial-territoria­l disaster relief framework intended to work together with the core BRM programs to help agricultur­al producers recover from natural disasters. AgriRecove­ry helps with the extraordin­ary costs associated with recovering from disaster events.

AgriStabil­ity is one of the BRM programs under the Canadian Agricultur­al Partnershi­p. It protects Canadian producers against large declines in farming income for reasons such as production loss, increased costs and market conditions. While the deadline to enroll for the 2021 program year has passed, provinces may request late participat­ion to make the program available to other producers during a crisis situation.

An interim payment under AgriStabil­ity is based on estimates of a participan­t's program year production margin and reference margin. To receive an interim payment, the participan­t's estimated production margin must decline by more than 30% of their estimated reference margin. Participan­ts can apply for an interim payment to access program funds early. Bibeau continues to urge provinces to accept the Government of Canada's offer to raise the AgriStabil­ity compensati­on rate from 70% to 80%. This would provide farmers across the country an additional $75 million per year, benefittin­g distressed farmers who need help now more than ever.

During a crisis such as this, farmers facing the stress and uncertaint­y of providing for their families may suffer serious mental health impacts. Those needing help are encouraged to reach out for support, and can contact The Do More Ag Foundation, a not-for-profit organizati­on focusing on mental health in agricultur­e across Canada.

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