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Trudeau Announces Support For Farmers

On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced new measures to support farmers and agri-food businesses in Canada facing financial hardship due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Farmers and food producers work hard to put food on tables across our country, and they should not have to worry about being able to afford their loan payments or having enough money to support their own families," said Trudeau. "We are taking action now to give them more flexibility to meet the challenges ahead in these times of uncertainty."

Farm Credit Canada (FCC) will receive support from the Government of Canada that will allow for an additional $5 billion in lending capacity to producers, agribusinesses, and food processors. This will offer increased flexibility to farmers who face cashflow issues and to processors who are impacted by lost sales, helping them remain financially strong during this difficult time.

In addition, all eligible farmers who have an outstanding Advance Payments Program (APP) loan due on or before April 30 will receive a Stay of Default, allowing them an additional six months to repay the loan. This measure represents $173 million in deferred loans. The Stay of Default will also provide farmers the flexibility they need to manage their cashflow when facing lower prices or reduced marketing opportunities. Applicable farmers who still have interest-free loans outstanding will have the opportunity to apply for an additional $100,000 interest-free portion for 2020-2021, as long as their total APP advances remain under the $1 million cap.

Grains, oilseeds, and pulse producers who participated in the 2018 Stay of Default announced this summer, are encouraged to contact their administrator for more details. Cattle, bison, flower, and potted plant producers should also contact their APP administrator to enquire about their eligibility for the Stay of Default.

The new deadlines for outstanding Advance Payments Program loans are as follows:
- September 30, 2020: 2018 cash advances for grains, oilseeds, and pulses.
- September 30, 2020: 2018 cash advances for cattle and bison.
- October 31, 2020: 2019 cash advances on flowers and potted plants.

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