Government delivers early on expanded risk management program
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 16, 2020|
Toby Barrett, MPP Haldimand-Norfolk welcomed the government’s action to expand the Risk Management Program a year earlier than planned by $50 million for a total of $150 million annually. This funding supports farmers with unforeseen challenges such as fluctuating market prices, extreme weather events like flooding or drought, and disease.
“I am personally quite heartened to see the funding for Ontario’s Risk Management Program increase from $100 million to $150 million a year,” said Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett “I have attended many farm meetings, and a few tractor rallies, over the past two decades in support of risk management.”
The announcement was made on July 16 by Premier Doug Ford, and Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Approximately 80 per cent of eligible commercial production in the cattle, hog, sheep, veal, grains and oilseeds, and edible horticulture sectors in Ontario is covered by the provincial Risk Management Program.
“Our government stands shoulder to shoulder with our farmers during these unprecedented times. As we chart a path to recovery, we will be there for our farmers and their workers to help them continue to put food on our tables,” said Premier Ford. “We committed to expanding this program in Year 3 of our mandate, but we are delivering on that commitment a year earlier than promised to provide more stability, income security and peace of mind for farmers, which is long overdue. I’m proud to say promise made, promise kept.”
“We know farmers face tremendous pressures and uncertainties including reduced processing capacity, increased costs and volatile markets. After listening to feedback from the farming sector, that is why we are accelerating our promise to increase the Risk Management Program to $150 million by one year,” said Minister Hardeman. “We’re committed to providing our farmers with added support at this time and advocating on their behalf with the federal government to help them continue doing their critical work of producing safe, nutritious food for our kitchen tables.”
The increased investment in the Risk Management Program is in addition to a $15 million Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program. Farmers and other operations have access to cost-share funding to help enhance health and safety measures for employees, such as purchasing personal protective equipment, medical testing equipment, enhanced cleaning and disinfection, and temporary or permanent modifications to enhance physical distancing. Support is also available for farmers who experience unexpected costs for housing and transportation as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak on their farm.
- Applications for the Risk Management Program reopened on July 16 to allow eligible farmers the opportunity to apply to the program. The deadline to apply closes at midnight on July 30th, 2020.
- Producers should contact the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs’ delivery agent, Agricorp, to enroll in the Risk Management Program and AgriStability or to discuss their individual files.
- In response to COVID-19, the federal and Ontario governments have added labour as an insured risk to Production Insurance for the 2020 growing season.
- Canada and Ontario have also announced up to $10 million of support for beef and pork sectors through AgriRecovery.
- Ontario has an estimated 49,600 farms that contribute an estimated $7.6 billion annually to the province’s economy.
Farmers Support Expanded Risk Management Program
For more information, contact MPP Toby Barrett at 519-428-0446 or [email protected]