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

Quesnel RCMP looking for witnesses to a wheelchair turnover

They would like to speak with a Good Samaritan who helped out or some kids who may have witnessed

Quesnel Farmers’ Market is in full swing

The downtown market runs Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Forestry Ink: BC and Canadian pulp industry doing better

Regular columnist Jim Hilton looks at what is happening in the pulp and paper industry

Cottonwood House Historic Site opens with limited service for 2019

Capital upgrades are taking place at the site, but it’s still open to walkers, hikers and picknickers

Quesnel kung fu dojo holds tourney

Three clubs exhibited their skills for family, friends and instructors

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read