The federal government has approved $500 million for drought and wildfire relief programs under the AgriRecovery framework, just hours before the launch of the federal election campaign on Sunday.
The total includes the previously-announced $100 million.
“We thank Minister Bibeau for attaining further funding to help beef farmers and ranchers dealing with widespread severe drought and wildfires. This will provide the much-needed support to help producers manage through their difficult situations” said Bob Lowe, president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, in a statement on Sunday.
So far, the governments of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario have announced provincial commitments under the AgriRecovery framework totaling $322 million:
- Alberta – $136 million;
- Saskatchewan – $119 million;
- Manitoba – $62 million;
- Ontario – $5 million.
BC has not yet announced its provincial commitment.
Since AgriRecovery programs are funded on a 60-40 cost-share basis, with the province triggering the program, the federal share of what the provinces have announced currently adds up to $482.5 million.
Many of the details on how the AgriRecovery programs will work were on hold, pending approval of the federal funding. The looming election campaign, where the government goes into “caretaker mode,” added some uncertainty about when the funding would be approved.