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Applications now open for Emergency On-Farm Support Fund


October 6, 2020
By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

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Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced yesterday that applications are now being accepted for the Emergency On-Farm Support Fund in certain provinces and territories. This fund is a $35 million investment to improve health and safety on farms to prevent and respond to the spread of COVID-19.

The Emergency On-Farm Support Fund will provide support to farmers for direct infrastructure improvements to employee living quarters and work stations, temporary or emergency housing (on or off-farm), as well as personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitary stations, work stations and any other health and safety measures to safeguard the health and safety of Canadian and temporary foreign workers from COVID-19.

“We understand the unique circumstances and challenges being felt on farms and are working hard to ensure the right supports are available,” said Carla Qualtrough, minister of employment, workforce development and disability inclusion. “The health and safety of all workers, including temporary foreign workers in the agriculture industry who help protect Canada’s food security, continues to be a top priority.”

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The fund will be delivered by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in Alberta, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Work to finalize delivery arrangements continues with the provincial governments of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Announcements of the finalized delivery plan are expected in the coming weeks.

Contributions under the AAFC-managed program will be cost-shared 50:50 with the applicants up to $100,000. An additional 10 per cent will be provided to women and youth applicants – making the split 60:40 – as the government takes steps to promote and empower women and youth in the agricultural sector.

“Protecting the health and well-being of all farm workers who are helping ensure food security for Canadians has been a top priority since the beginning of the pandemic,” Bibeau said. “This is why we will continue to provide farmers with the support they need to ensure the right measures are in place to safeguard their employees and limit the spread of the virus. Additional support will also be provided to women and youth as the government is keenly aware that these groups have been uniquely affected by COVID-19.”