Friday, January 29, 2021

Bibeau hangs tough on AgriStability

Facing pressure from the Prairie provinces, federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau is hanging tough on her proposals to reform AgriStability.


And Ontario Agriculture Minister Ernie Hardeman, who supports the package, is warning that time is running out if provinces and territories want the package to be retroactive to last year.


On the other hand, there has been no announcement from him indicating that he has signed Ontario on to the deal.


The changes would cost about $170 million in total; $102 million is the federal share. Removing the reference margin limit would boost funding available to farmers by more than 30 percent, while increasing the compensation rate would increase it by 50 per cent, Bibeau’s officials have calculated.


Bibeau said she’s willing to meet again – the package was presented Nov. 27 – but is not willing to re-open negotiations.


Manitoba’s agriculture minister Blaine Pederson has said he wants the package changed to address concerns raised by producers about the predictability, competitiveness, and timeliness of the risk management program.