Agriculture ministers from across Canada were able to reach a deal on the next five-year Agricultural Policy Framework at their annual federal-provincial-territorial meeting in Saskatoon, Sask. that wrapped up on Friday, July 22.
The new agreement will be known as the “Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership” (SCAP), and is slated to replace the current Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which is set to expire at the end of March 2023.
Here are some of the highlights of what we know so far about the agreement-in-principle:
- $500 million in new cost-shared funds, bringing the total funding envelope to approximately $3.5 billion. The cost-shared funding coming from the federal and provincial governments will be increasing from $2 billion to $2.5 billion (the remaining $1 billion was funded by the federal government under the current framework.) During the press conference following the meeting, Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit said this is in line with the 25% increase that multiple provinces were seeking in the negotiations. “We were happy when the federal government put that offer on the table,” said Marit.
- As part of the $500 million in new funding, the framework will include a new $250 million cost-shared Resilient Agriculture Landscape Program. “This program will play a key role in rewarding farmers and ranchers for their environmental stewardship, and contribute to the reduction in emissions from the sector,” said Bibeau.
- The AgriStability compensation rate will be increased from 70% to 80% starting in 2023.
- A commitment to finish consultations on a new AgriStability model that will be “faster, simpler, and more predictable” within the next year, said Bibeau.
- A 1-year review of business risk management (BRM) programs “to explore opportunities to further integrate climate risk to identify incentives and conduct a pilot for producers who adopt environmental practices that also reduce production risks.” Each province will be undertaking its own pilot programs.
- Producers with allowable net sales of at least $1 million will need to have an agri-environmental risk assessment done by 2025 to receive AgriInvest contributions.
- A commitment to a 3 to 5 Mt reduction in GHG emissions, which the federal minister said would be “measured by a more robust results strategy…and will include improved data-sharing and reporting” among FPT governments.
— Marie-Claude Bibeau (@mclaudebibeau) July 22, 2022
The agreement-in-principle will allow federal and provincial governments to proceed with bilateral agreements prior to the start of the new framework in April 2023.
Provincial agriculture ministers from Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario — Nate Horner, David Marit, and Lisa Thompson, respectively — also released statements after the meeting saying they were disappointed by the “lack of flexibility and consultation” regarding the federal government’s 30 per cent fertilizer emissions target.
“We’re really concerned with this arbitrary goal,” said Marit. “The Trudeau government has apparently moved on from their attack on the oil and gas industry and set their sights on Saskatchewan farmers.”
The 2023 annual meeting will be hosted by New Brunswick.