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Minister Bibeau makes funding and compensation announcements

Minister Bibeau makes funding and compensation announcements

The third round of compensation for dairy producers is now available

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Federal minister of agriculture Marie-Claude Bibeau made two announcements this week to support the dairy sector and food banks across Canada.

On Dec. 22, she announced the federal government would be providing $30 million in top-up funding for the Emergency Food Security Fund.

The federal government created the fund in April 2020 to help Canadian food banks provide access to Canadians experiencing food insecurity.

With the additional funding, the federal government has supported the fund with $330 million.

The $30 million will be divided between Food Banks Canada, Second Harvest, Breakfast Club of Canada, Community Food Centres Canada, The Salvation Army and La Tablée des Chefs.

Stats Canada data from May 2020 showed about one in seven Canadians were living in a food-insecure household.

And Food Banks Canada’s HungerCount 2021 report indicated visits to food banks increased by 20 per cent across the country.

This funding will help organizations provide meals for their communities while also supporting Canadian farmers, Minister Bibeau said.

“This extra $30-million investment will help these six vital organizations with established distribution networks to continue to improve access to food for Canadians in need, while also supporting PEI farmers by redirecting surplus potatoes to local food-serving organizations who need them,” she said in a statement.

One day earlier, on Dec. 21, Minister Bibeau made an announcement specific to the dairy sector.

The third round of payments under the Dairy Direct Payment Program is now available for producers.

Under the program, dairy farmers will receive up to $1.75 billion in direct payments over four years.

Eligible producers must register through the Canadian Dairy Commission before March 31, 2022 to receive payment.

The federal government is providing these payments in response to dairy market concessions made under CETA and CPTPP.

Further compensation for CUSMA concessions is in the works.

“Our government is delivering on its commitment to compensate dairy producers,” Bibeau said in a statement. “They can now apply for the third payment and already know what their fourth payment will be in 2023. We promised to finalize the CUSMA compensation within the first year of our mandate and we will also deliver on this commitment.”

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