Newly appointed federal agriculture minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announces at a Vernon farm Monday a partnership with B.C. to trigger a late participation program to help farmers who suffered losses in a challenging 2018. (Roger Knox - Black Press)

B.C. farmers to benefit from late participation program

Federal agriculture minister announces help for B.C. farmers who dealt with financial losses in 2018

B.C. farmers hit hard by a challenging 2018 now have a bit of stability.

Newly appointed federal agricultural minister Marie-Claude Bibeau – in her first order of business since being named the first-ever woman agriculture minister in a small cabinet shuffle by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau a week ago – announced that Canada and B.C. have triggered the late participation mechanism under the AgriStability program for 2018 to help farmers access needed support to deal with income losses.

RELATED: Trudeau names longtime MP new veterans affairs minister in cabinet shuffle

Bibeau, who hails from the rural Quebec riding of Compton-Stanstead, made the announcement at Ira and Noreen French’s Vernon dairy farm on Commonage Road Monday morning.

The new feature, under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, means hundreds of additional farmers and ranchers from B.C. will be eligible to join and benefit from the program. The feature can be triggered by governments in situations where there is a significant income decline in the farm sector and a gap in program participation.

Many B.C. producers faced financial challenges last year due to significant production and market losses.

“Our government recognizes that many B.C. farmers and ranchers are facing financial hardship caused by extreme weather events and poor market prices,” said Bibeau, sheltered from a bitterly cold wind blowing across the Commonage by the French’s hay barn.

“The AgriStability late participation feature will help more farmers access the support they need to cope with income shortfalls. We encourage B.C. farmers to take full advantage of all available business risk management programs.”

RELATED: Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

The late participation measure is in addition to previously announced assistance by the Liberals in October under the AgriRecovery disaster framework that provided $5 million to help the province’s agriculture sector recover from losses due to the 2018 wildfires, which consumed 1.3 million hectares of land, surpassing 2017’s record damage year.

B.C. agriculture minister Lana Popham said adjusting the AgriStability program to help more B.C. producers whose income declined in 2018 offers support to those farmers, the communities they’re part of and agriculture in B.C.

“B.C. ranchers and farmers work hard to support our province’s food supply and economy, and when they experience extreme hardship such as the last two years, they need our help,” said Popham.

Canadian Cattlemen’s Association president Dave Haywood-Farmer of Kamloops was delighted with the announcement.

“Today’s announcement will benefit more B.C. producers and farmers who were impacted by the fires in 2018 which, unfortunately, are becoming a regular occurrence in B.C. during the summer months,” said Haywood-Farmer. “It’s also a good example of the diversity of conditions that can impact Canadian beef industries in any given year.”

Bibeau continued her tour with a stop in Kelowna Monday afternoon. She’ll visit Calgary Tuesday and wraps up her Western Canadian tour in Winnipeg Wednesday.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Family-friendly heron tours planned at Chilliwack’s nature reserve

Stretch your legs as you watch the herons return to their colony, March 22 and 23

Local recognized for devoting a half-century of fighting fires

Provincial, federal governements honour the 50 years Fred Robinson spent as volunteer firefighter

Hope fire fighters consistently amongst top Stair Climb fundraisers

Hope fire fighters raised more than $4,500 this year

Celebrate Transit Driver Appreciation Day with BC Transit on Mar. 18

Say a little ‘thank you’ to the people who help you get where you need to be safely, like Sherry Lane

Hope Search and Rescue worried about looming expiry date for government funding

The province’s 80 SAR groups have been sharing $15 million in grants from previous government

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

Horvat scores 16 seconds into OT as Canucks beat Blackhawks 3-2

Pettersson sets rookie scoring record for Vancouver

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Accused Surrey transit cop shooter’s bail hearing set for April

Daon Gordon Glasgow, 35, is accused of shooting Transit Police Constable Josh Harms, 27

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at B.C. vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

Most Read