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Ontario helped shape the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, Minister Leal says

Ontario helped shape the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, Minister Leal says

CAP will come into effect April 1, 2018

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content

Ontario’s role in the Canadian agricultural landscape played a large part in developing key elements that will make up the new Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP), according to Jeff Leal, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture.

“In many ways, Ontario helped set the agenda for these federal, provincial and territorial discussions,” Minister Leal told this morning.

Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay announced the country’s 13 agricultural ministers (10 provincial, 2 territorial, 1 federal), signed CAP, which is Canada’s new national policy framework for the agri-food sector.

“Ministers have reached an agreement on the core elements of the new framework,” Minister MacAulay told reporters today.

It will focus on six key elements once it comes into effect on April 1, 2018:

  • Science, research and innovation
  • Markets and trade
  • Environmental sustainability and climate change
  • Value-added agriculture and agri-food processing
  • Public trust
  • Risk management

Under CAP, Business Risk Management (BRM) programs like AgriStability and AgriInvest will undergo a comprehensive review to ensure farmers receive the maximum possible dollar amounts under these programs.

“We want to make sure we’re spending every dollar as effectively as possible, which will (provide incentive to) our farm community and lead to innovation,” said Minister Leal.

He pointed to recent weather challenges Ontario producers have faced as a reason for championing the BRM review.

Farmers “had a severe drought last summer in five Ontario counties,” Minister Leal said. “The only tool we had available at the time would’ve been to access AgriRecovery. The only way AgriRecovery can be triggered is if the industry has a complete devastation, but (this issue) was regional in nature.

“We have to give our farmers in the 21st century the tools to respond when a regional situation occurs.”

Another important element of CAP is that the agricultural industry may be able to benefit from money dispersed through other federal ministries.

“These dollars are available for initiatives in the agriculture area,” Minister Leal said. “We want to make sure the provinces and territories get updates where the money is going when it comes into the agricultural sector.”

Minister MacAulay also told reporters that part of CAP’s initiatives is to increase agri-food exports to $75 billion by 2025.

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