Agriculture first ministers meeting further delayed until November

After being pushed from July to October due to COVID-19, the FPT Agriculture first ministers meeting has been further delayed to November, according to a tweet from AAFC on Tuesday morning.

The AAFC tweet says “Ministers agree to hold their virtual meeting in November to accommodate Saskatchewan election, ensuring all #AgFPT20 partners can be at the table to discuss priorities for the ag sector.”

One of the main topics at the meeting will be continued negotiations on reform of business risk management programs. Both the provinces and the federal government will negotiate funding structures and whether farm groups requests are acceptable.

According to Minister Ernie Hardeman, of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the delay has more to do with the province’s ask for a proposed solution to the Business Risk Management issues. In a press conference held Tuesday morning, Hardeman said that he has asked the federal minister to come forward with a proposal at this meeting, and that that required more time.

Hardeman says he hopes the postponed meeting means that there will be enough time to work on putting together solutions, instead of further discussing the issues.

In a release from AAFC a spokesperson stated, “to accommodate Saskatchewan’s provincial election in October, and allow all partners to fully participate, the virtual conference will now take place in November. Officials will also continue their regular meetings leading up to the conference. Ministers look forward to holding their next annual meeting in person in Guelph, Ontario, in July 2021.”

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