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Helping direct ag funding for the Northwest Territories

Helping direct ag funding for the Northwest Territories

The territorial government is accepting feedback until March 31

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

The territorial government of the Northwest Territories (NWT) is asking its citizens to submit comments on how to direct government ag funding.

Until March 31, residents can provide feedback through the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment. These comments will help the government work with the federal government to shape Canada’s next agricultural policy framework.

“As we continue to explore opportunities and support economic diversification in the NWT, agriculture is emerging as a quickly developing industry with enormous possibilities,” Caroline Wawzonek, NWT’s minister of industry, tourism and investment, said in a statement. “The planned engagements are an important exercise to include the voices of NWT stakeholders at a national level to ensure the sector is supported and continues to grow.”

The new one, which will replace the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP), will come into effect on April 1, 2023.

NWT received $1.2 million from CAP when it was signed in 2018.

The funding has been used for multiple projects including research programs, food safety courses and community outreach programs designed to introduce children and youth to agriculture.

Federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau launched consultations for the next ag policy framework in June 2021.

Since then, multiple provinces have done data gathering.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, for example, local farmers are calling for policies and incentives to help manage climate change and more temporary foreign workers to help with labour shortages.

Alberta’s comment window closed last summer. The provincial government plans to release detailed results and to gather more feedback later this year.

And the government of Saskatchewan continues to collaborate with its counterparts to ensure a fair framework is created.

“Since the agreement is between the federal government and all provinces and territories, it will establish the big picture in terms of what programming could look like over the next five years,” said Lindsay Freistadt, director of strategic policy unit and policy branch with Saskatchewan Agriculture, Discover Moose Jaw reported.

“How much funding will be available, how it will be shared between provinces. The Ministers are expected to sign the multilateral framework agreement at their next Annual Conference of Agriculture Ministers in Saskatoon in July of 2022."

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