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Agriculture Minister Discussions Focus On A Variety Of Topics

Federal, Provincial and Territorial Agriculture Ministers met virtually on Friday.
 
Saskatchewan's David Marit says they talked about a number of issues including what they learned so far in dealing with COVID-19.
 
Especially as it relates to the agriculture labour issues and the challenges around bringing in Temporary Foreign Workers and the cost of housing them.
 
"We're looking at it now so that by January/February we have a plan in place, because the workers will be starting to roll into Canada in March and April. So there was a good session on that."
 
He notes there was also some good discussion around strategic initiatives in dealing with African Swine Fever should the situation arise.
 
A key part of the discussions focused around changes to the Business Risk Management Programs with some province's looking for short-term changes, while others prefer to focus on overall changes for the 2023 program.
 
Marit says changes need to be made, but he wants to see some discussion around funding distribution.
 
He says Saskatchewan would be the hardest hit financially by the changes given our large land base and relatively low population.
 
"I'm cautiously, very cautiously optimistic on what changes may come and concerned by it as well."
 
In order for any changes to occur they have to have seven out of ten provinces agreeing, and they must represent two-thirds of the program or 67%.
 
The second round of discussions for the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Agriculture Ministers is set for this Friday, November 27th.
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