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

Live wire repairs result in unplanned outage for 4,400 BC Hydro customers Tuesday night

Equipment issues results in larger, unplanned outage for Saanich, Oak Bay residents

Esquimalt Ribfest in need of volunteers

The three-day festival is happening from Sept. 6 to 8

Victoria car show’s ferry event a highlight for arriving hot-rodders

Grand opening event one of several planned for Northwest Deuce Days

Rickter Scale: The chicken’s ready when pigs fly

The Rickter Scale is a weekly column

Brentwood Bay brings $5 concerts every Wednesday

Variety of music on offer, picnics, good vibes and family friendly

VIDEO: Black bear caught climbing tree in Langford neighbourhood

Triangle Mountain residents on alert following bear sighting

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

‘Beyond the call’: Teen in police custody gets birthday surprise by B.C. Mountie

Unusual celebration started when Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik went to visit the teen in his Coquitlam cell

Thunderstorms forecast across B.C.

Environment Canada has issued a thunderstorm watch for B.C.’s central Interior

Driver who killed B.C. motorcyclist receives absolute discharge

Chase family speechless following decision by BC Review Board

Lower gas prices slow annual inflation rate to Bank of Canada’s 2% bull’s-eye

Prices showed strength in other areas — led by a 17.3 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

B.C. moves to preserve 54 of its biggest, oldest trees

Fir, cedar, spruce, pine, yew set aside from logging

Report of dead body in B.C. park actually headless sex doll

This discovery, made at Manning Park on July 10, led police to uncovering two other sex mannequins

Grand Forks fire chief found to have bullied, harassed volunteer firefighter: report

WorkSafeBC, third-party human resources investigation looking into allegations complete

Most Read