Support for Farmers & Fishers

Our farmers and fishers work hard to make sure that our food supply remains strong; however COVID-19 has seriously impacted their ability to do this.

If you are a farmer or a fisher, below is a list of federal programs available to you at this time. While these programs provide some support, Conservatives know that much more is needed. That’s why we have repeatedly called on the Liberal government to take stronger action to support our agri-food industry. These actions could include:

  • reforming the Business Risk Management programs
  • implementing a temporary cattle set-aside program
  • creating a new program to match students and youth with jobs in the agriculture and agri-food industry, including fish and seafood

If you have any questions about the program listed below or would like to voice your concerns about support for our agriculture, agri-food and fishing sectors, please contact my office.

 

For Farmers, Agri-businesses and the Agri-food sector:

 

Farm Credit Canada:

  • The Federal government has increased the amount that Farm Credit Canada (FCC) can lend to producers, agribusinesses, and food producers.
  • The immediate solutions that FCC is offering include:
    • Deferral of principal and interest payments for six months OR a deferral of principal payments for up to 12 months
    • Access to a 24-month credit line up to $500,000 at a rate of Prime +1% and no fees. The loan is secured by general security agreements (provinces other than Quebec) or universal movable hypothec (Quebec only)
  • FCC is also offering term loans up to $2.5 million, with no fees and an 18-month interest-only option available over a 10-year amortization.
  • For more information, please visit: https://www.fcc-fac.ca/en/covid-19/program-details.html 

 

The Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program (MISTFWP)

 

Labour Shortage:

  • The Federal government recently announce $1 million to help connect workers with jobs in the agriculture and agri-food sector
  • This is a partnership with the Ontario government through the Place to Grow: Agri-Food Innovation Initiative.
  • The Ontario government has created an online tool to connect workers and employers in the agriculture and agri-food sector. That tool can be found here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/agriculture-and-food-jobs-ontario

AgriRecovery:

  • The Federal government recently launched a national AgriRecovery initiative of up to $125 million to assist cattle and hog producers manage backed-up livestock on farms due to temporary closure of food processing plants.
  • This will allow farmers to keep livestock on the farm longer before bringing them to market.

Canadian Dairy Commission:

  • Parliament recently passed legislation to increase the Canadian Dairy Commission’s borrowing limit from $300 million to $500 million.
  • This is intended to support farmers with costs association with the temporary storage of cheese and butter to avoid food waste.

Surplus Food Purchase Program:

  • The Federal government recently announced $50 million to help farmers redistribute existing and unsold crop to local food organizations serving the vulnerable.
  • This is intended to assist farmers who have produced large amounts of food, but no longer have contracts with restaurants, schools etc.

AgriStability:

  • The Government of Canada recently announced that it would be working with the provinces and territories to increase interim payments from 50% to 75% through AgriStability.
  • For more information, please visit: http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/?id=1291990433266 

Emergency Processing Fund:

  • The Government of Canada recently announce $77.5 million to help food producers access more personal protective equipment (PPE), adapt to health protocols, automate or modernize their facilities, processes, and operations.

CFIA Funding:

For any questions about Public Health COVID-19 requirements on farms, please consult the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit at: https://hnhu.org/

 

 

For Fish and Seafood Producers and Processors:

Fisher Harvester Benefit:

  • The Government of Canada recently announced $267.6 million to provide income support for eligible self-empoyed fish harvesters and sharespersons crew who can’t access the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).
  • This support will be available to those experiencing fishing income declines grater than 25% in the 2020 tax year, compared with a reference period that is still to be identified.
  • The benefit will cover 75% of fishing income losses beyond the 25% income decline threshold up to a maximum individual entitlement that is equivalent to CEWS ($847 per week up to 12 weeks).
  • More details are to come.

Fish Harvester Grant:

  • The Government of Canada recently announced $201.8 million to provide grants of up to $10,000 to self-employed fish harvesters with a valid fishing licence, who have been impacted by COVID-19 and who are ineligible for the Canada Emergency Business Account or equivalent measures.
  • According to the Government, this program will be non-repayable and the size of the support will vary depending on the level of the fish harvesters’ historic revenue.
  • More details are to come.

Changes to EI for Self-employed Fish Harvesters and Sharepersons:

  • According to the Federal government, changes to EI will be proposed to allow self-employed fish harvesters and sharepersons to access EI benefits on the basis of insurable earnings from previous seasons.
  • More details are to come.

Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund:

  • The Government of Canada announced $62.5 million for the fish and seafood processing sector to help businesses:
    • Access short-term financing to pay for maintenance and inventory costs;
    • Add storage capacity for unsold product;
    • Comply with new health and safety measures for workers;
    • Support new manufacturing/automated technologies to improve productivity and quality of finished seafood products; and
    • Adapt products to respond to changing requirements and new market demands.
  • More details are to come.
  • According to the Government of Canada website, this fund will be allocated through the regional development agencies. At this time, it is expected to only go to the Atlantic region, Quebec and Western Canada.
  • If you are a processor in Haldimand-Norfolk and are looking for funding, please contact my office.