Friday, March 19, 2021

Bibeau challenges provinces on AgriStability

Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau is challenging provinces to move on her offer to enhance AgriStability with an offer of $170 million in increased funding.

She and Jim Carr, appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to speak for the Prairie provinces said “we are asking for a clear indication from the three Prairie provinces whether they will sign on or not.”

They asked the Prairie agriculture ministers whether they have taken the proposal Bibeau made in November to their premiers.

Those changes, the MPs said, “could lead to an increased payout from AgriStability of 50 per cent, or $170 million nationally, into the pockets of farmers who need it the most.”

The 2022 signup deadline for 2022 is April 30. The federal government’s fiscal year ends March 31 which might have a role in Bibeau’s comment that her offer could be retroactive if provinces act promptly.

She rejected calls by the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, the Canadian Pork Council and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association to hold another federal-provincial-territorial meeting of agriculture ministers to get the deal done.