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Province's Left Crunching The Numbers After Federal Proposal

Federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau put forward a proposal Friday as part of the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Agriculture Ministers Conference.
 
The Agri-Stability proposal calls for changes that would see the removal of the reference margin limit and an increase in the compensation rate to 80%.
 
Alberta's Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshin says they were frustrated the Minister chose to present it at the eleventh hour, just as they were wrapping up and then immediately make it public.
 
"A lot of provinces were frustrated in the fact of if this was a two week FPT, why was not Day One the conversation of the Federal Government's proposal. Why was it delayed and waited until the very last minute to be proposed? So, that was a little frustrating, just on kind of negotiating in good faith of why it waited until the eleventh hour."
 
Saskatchewan's Agriculture Minister David Marit says they had wanted to see some movement on cost-sharing.
 
"The one thing that she was adamant and remained, kept her stand on, was the 60-40 cost share. Which was something that all the provinces had agreed when we put the proposal forward to her months ago on 90-10. Which she rejected, but came back with nothing. But we were hopeful that there would have been some movement in this time of COVID and the impact that's having on every province."
 
Dreeshin notes the one positive that did come out of the two-week meeting was that they did all agree to make major reforms to AgriStability for the new policy framework in 2023.
 
"Something that was an insurance based program that would look at all different commodity types. That would be timely, that would actually pay out on the same crop year or within the same calendar year rather than AgriStability. Which takes almost two years to eventually get a payment, and it's not very predictable, because you can have major revenue declines and AgriStability still may not pay out."
 
He says there was a commitment by all to revisit it in July and to flush out major reforms for 2022, so it could actually be live by 2023.
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