British Columbia farmers who suffered extraordinary damages during November’s devastating floods will have access to up to $228 million in federal-provincial government support.
Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and Lana Popham, B.C.’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, announced the Canada-BC Flood Recovery for Food Security Program on Monday. The program will be delivered by the Government of British Columbia and will leverage the federal government’s AgriRecovery Framework and Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA).
“The B.C. agricultural community has pulled together and demonstrated its strength and determination in the face of devastating floods,” said Bibeau. “There is still a long way to go, but the Government of Canada will continue to work with the Government of British Columbia to support our farmers. We are here to help them rebuild so they can quickly get back to doing what they do best: producing high-quality food for Canadians.”
Minister Popham says the November flooding was the most impactful agricultural disaster ever in the province, resulting in profound losses for many B.C. farmers and food producers.
“We’re responding with a program that delivers the greatest amount of support of its kind in B.C.’s history,” she says. “We’ve worked closely with farmers and farming organizations to make sure we have a comprehensive response that will support their recovery, help them get their farms back in production, and continue our collective efforts to build a resilient food system and food economy in B.C.”
The program will help farmers who have incurred extraordinary expenses from uninsurable damages, such as:
- cleanup, repair, and restoration of land, barns, and animal shelters, water and waste systems;
- returning flood-impacted land and buildings to a safe environment for agricultural production;
- repair of uninsurable essential farm infrastructure, reasonable repair of on-farm structures such as livestock containment fences, and the rental of temporary production facilities drainage ditches and riprap;
- animal welfare;
- replacement feed as well as livestock transportation, veterinary care, and mortality disposal; and
- loss of perennial plants not raised for resale.
The governments of Canada and British Columbia have also established a committee of ministers who are working together and with Indigenous leadership to guide immediate and ongoing support to British Columbia families, businesses and communities affected by the extreme weather events.
Farmers who have already undertaken any work are advised to keep their receipts, track the hours of work involved, and take pictures documenting the damage and repairs to support their application.
Related: Putting life back together after the flood
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