Agriculture is one of the targeted sectors in the federal budget launched on April 19 to lay the groundwork for a new sustainable economy. The funds were provided for processors, temporary foreign workers and wine growers by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland. Farmers will also have access to the budget allocated for climate change mitigation measures.
An amount of $ 292.5 million has been earmarked to compensate treatments in the agricultural sectors subject to supply management affected by the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the Comprehensive and Advanced Partnership Agreement across the Pacific (CPTPP). Thus, a fund dedicated to private investment in processing plants will be created.
After scheduling the budget, President and CEO of the Canadian Egg and Poultry Processors Council, Jean-Michel Lauren, said in a press release that its members “look forward to working with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.” In this file.
Temporary foreign workers
The government renewed financial assistance to cover quarantine-related costs for temporary foreign workers. An amount of $ 57.6 million is planned for 2021-2022. Producers will be able to receive aid up to a maximum of $ 1,500 per worker, which can be increased to $ 2,000 if the farmer does not have the necessary infrastructure on his farm. This amount is valid until June 15th. It will then be reduced to $ 750 through August 31. However, the government plans to consult with employers and the latter amount could be increased in some sectors. The compulsory dismissal assistance program will then be terminated.
In addition, the government claims to be aware of the vulnerability of these workers. In order to protect their health, ensure their safety and provide them with a quality of life, the budget provides for $ 49.5 million over three years. This amount will allow community organizations to develop programs and services that meet the needs of these workers. $ 54.9 million is also planned to be funded over three years to increase workplace inspections to verify that employers offer adequate working conditions and wages.
$ 101 million for the wine sector
The Canadian Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food secured $ 101 million over two years starting in 2022 to create a program to help the country’s wine growers “adapt to current and emerging challenges, in line with Canada’s commercial commitments.” The government asserts that “the growth of the Canadian wine sector over the past fifteen years has proven successful for the Canadian agri-food sector”.
Cleaner energies financing
The budget also includes a green recovery plan to combat climate change and farmers will be invited to participate. At least $ 50 million is being provided in the Clean Technologies in Agriculture program, with a budget of $ 165.5 million, to fund more energy-efficient grain dryers. Not to mention saving $ 10 million over two years in this program to encourage the supply of clean energy to farms and reduce diesel consumption.
In addition to this $ 185 million climate program and agricultural solutions, an additional $ 200 million financing has been allocated over two years to fund projects aimed at accelerating emissions reduction through better environmental management. Nitrogen, adoptions cover crops and standardization of rotational grazing. Over two years, $ 60 million will go to the Nature-Based Climate Solutions Fund to protect wetlands and trees on farms, including through a pilot reverse auction program.