The federal government says it has committed $100 million through the AgriRecovery disaster relief framework to helping farmers affected by drought in Western Canada and parts of Ontario.

The government says it’s still working with provincial governments of B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario to finalize the details of how payments will work, but sources tell RealAgriculture the first provincial announcements could come as soon as Friday (August 6.)

The federal announcement also removes some of the uncertainty about how disaster relief would proceed with the anticipation of a federal election campaign beginning shortly.

“Today we are announcing $100 million to add to provincial AgriRecovery initiatives, ready to be delivered as quickly as we can turn around provincial submissions, and ready to seek further funding for requests exceeding this amount,” said federal Ag Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, in a statement issued Friday morning. “We will continue to support farm families to get them through the challenges we face today, and position them for a sustainable future, since we know climate change will continue to pose challenges.”

AgriRecovery programs are to be funded on a 60-40 cost-share basis between the federal and provincial governments, which means the provinces would have to collectively contribute around $67 million to unlock the $100 million in federal funding.

The federal government has typically budgeted around $125 million per year for disaster relief programs under the AgriRecovery framework, and has already committed some of those funds to COVID-related initiatives.

Meanwhile, additional areas in Western Canada and Ontario have been designated for the federal government’s Livestock Tax Deferral.

The federal and Manitoba governments also announced an increase to the 2021 AgriStability interim payment from 50 to 75 per cent on Friday — a move that’s also been made in Saskatchewan and Alberta. Manitoba has also invoked the late sign-up provision for AgriStability.

Since this announcement Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario have announced their portion of the AgriRecovery funding. B.C. has not yet released its numbers. Read more here:

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