$228M flood recovery program helping B.C. farms return to production

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$228M flood recovery program helping B.C. farms return to production

by ahnationtalk on February 8, 2022129 Views

Feb. 7, 2022

VICTORIA – B.C. farmers who suffered extraordinary damages during November’s devastating floods will have access to up to $228 million in federal-provincial government support to help their farms return to production and support British Columbia’s food security and agricultural communities in the years ahead.

Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and Lana Popham, B.C.’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, have announced the Canada-BC Flood Recovery for Food Security Program, which will be delivered by the Government of British Columbia and will leverage the federal government’s AgriRecovery Framework and Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA).

“The B.C. agricultural community has pulled together and demonstrated its strength and determination in the face of devastating floods,” said Bibeau. “There is still a long way to go, but the Government of Canada will continue to work with the Government of British Columbia to support our farmers. We are here to help them rebuild so they can quickly get back to doing what they do best: producing high-quality food for Canadians.”

Bill Blair, president of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness, said: “Our government will continue to be there for families, farmers and communities in British Columbia as they recover from the devastating floods and extreme weather events that hit the province last November. We know that building back in the aftermath of a disaster is a long and difficult road, which is why we’re here to support all of those who need help – every step of the way. Together, we will get through this.”

Popham said: “The November flooding was the most impactful agricultural disaster ever in our province, resulting in profound losses for many B.C. farmers and food producers, and we’re responding with a program that delivers the greatest amount of support of its kind in B.C.’s history. We’ve worked closely with farmers and farming organizations to make sure we have a comprehensive response that will support their recovery, help them get their farms back in production, and continue our collective efforts to build a resilient food system and food economy in B.C.”

The Canada-BC Flood Recovery Program for Food Security will help farmers who have incurred extraordinary expenses from uninsurable damages, such as:

  • cleanup, repair and restoration of land, barns and animal shelters, water and waste systems; returning flood-impacted land and buildings to a safe environment for agricultural production;
  • repair of uninsurable essential farm infrastructure, reasonable repair of on-farm structures such as livestock containment fences, and the rental of temporary production facilities drainage ditches and riprap;
  • animal welfare; replacement feed as well as livestock transportation, veterinary care and mortality disposal; and
  • loss of perennial plants not raised for resale.

The response was designed following extensive consultation with agricultural organizations and individual farmers in the different disaster areas.

The governments of Canada and British Columbia have also established a committee of ministers who are working together and with Indigenous leadership to guide immediate and ongoing support to British Columbia families, businesses and communities affected by the extreme weather events.

Farmers who have already undertaken any work are advised to keep their receipts, track the hours of work involved, and take pictures documenting the damage and repairs to support their application.

Quotes:

Stan Vander Waal, president, BC Agriculture Council (BCAC) –

“As the organization representing British Columbia’s farmers and ranchers, BC Agriculture Council wishes to thank ministers Bibeau and Popham, government staff, first responders and British Columbians for your incredible demonstration of support to the agriculture sector since the weather events in November. Today’s announcement will bring a sense of relief to many impacted farmers and ranchers, and we know it will offer support that is urgently needed. By combining AgriRecovery with the Disaster Financial Assistance program for producers, the provincial and federal governments have reduced eligibility barriers, provided higher compensation rates, and alleviated much of the administrative burden we would have otherwise seen. BCAC looks forward to industry and government working together during this next stage of recovery.”

Harvey Sasaki, chair, BC Chicken Marketing Board –

“The B.C. poultry industry is extremely pleased with the work of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and the Government of Canada in listening to the industry and addressing its immediate needs during last November’s Atmospheric River event. The industry welcomes the announced funding which will go a long way in supporting industry recovery from the unprecedented damage caused by last November’s atmospheric river event.”

Kevin Boon, general manager, BC Cattlemen’s Association –

“2021 has proven to be one of the most challenging years for B.C. ranchers and farmers. With the extraordinary events of severe drought, wildfires, and flooding it is extremely important to our food security in the province and to the sustainability of our food producers that they have the support to rebuild from these disasters. The Canada-BC AgriRecovery team has worked hard to build this comprehensive program to help producers get back to doing what they do best, raising the food British Columbians depend on.”

Jeremy Dunn, general manager, BC Dairy –

“On behalf of our members, BC Dairy is pleased to hear the announcement today, and wishes to thank Minister Popham and her team, as well as Minister Bibeau and the federal government, for their work to develop a comprehensive recovery package to assist farmers impacted by the floods. We know that there will be more engagement to come, as there continues to be many months of rebuilding ahead. We look forward to continuing to work with the Ministry in the coming weeks and months to support our dairy producers.”

Learn More:

Program criteria and application forms are available online: gov.bc.ca/agrifloodrecovery
One-on-one assistance in English and Punjabi is available to farmers requiring assistance completing the applications through agrirecovery@gov.bc.ca
Or toll-free: 1 888 332-3352.

Application forms are available online: gov.bc.ca/agrifloodrecovery

Income protection programs for BC farmers: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/programs#Insurance

Emergency management for agriculture: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/business-market-development/emergency-management

Three backgrounders follow.

Contacts:

Dave Townsend
Media Relations
Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries
250 356-7098
250 889-5945 (mobile)

Marianne Dandurand
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
marianne.dandurand@agr.gc.ca
343 541-9229

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Media Relations
Ottawa
613 773-7972

NT5

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