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

‘Cowardly acts’ towards homeless continue in Osoyoos

RCMP confirm they are investigating two incidents of assault on a homeless person

Funding brings sigh or relief for Penticton Search and Rescue

Province announces a funding injection for operations, equipment and training

Turning an Okanagan hospital’s medical waste into art

Safe recycled waste materials are being used by local artists to create art

Total hogwash: Mr. Banks gives cars a piggy polish

Mr. Banks, who lives on the Critteraid farm in the Okanagan, was offering the service on the weekend

Jail sentence for South Okanagan bank robber with ties to Surrey

The Surrey man convicted of the 2017 robbery of the Penticton Valley First sentenced to seven years

VIDEO: Fire contained to garage beside East Kelowna house

Garage is fully involved, say firefighters

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

COLUMN: Smart phone too powerful a tool to yank from students’ hands

Rather than ban them from schools, let’s teach kids to harness their phone’s power and use it properly

Young mother dies in Highway 3 semi collision

According to friends the victim was on her way to work, to a job she started earlier in the week

Animals seized again from North Okanagan property

Animals to be seized not yet confirmed

B.C. river cleanup crew finds bag of discarded sex toys

Chilliwack volunteers stumble on unexpected find while removing 600 lbs of trash from riverway

Trudeau sells housing plan in visit to hot real estate market in B.C.

Trudeau said the budget contains measures to help first-time buyers

Cultural plan, with public feedback, to be presented at Kelowna council meeting

Council will be presented with an update to the 2020-2025 Cultural Plan Monday

Most Read