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Federal government will not contribute to AgriStability increase in Ontario unless Prairie provinces get on board, says Bibeau

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The federal government will not be contributing to enhancements to AgriStability introduced by the Ontario government final week, unless a consensus is reached to increase the compensation fee throughout the nation, says federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau.

On Friday afternoon, newly-minted Ontario Agriculture Minister Lisa Thompson introduced the province would transfer forward with rising the compensation fee beneath AgriStability from 70 to 80 per cent for farmers in the province, retroactive to the 2020 rising season.

“Ontario farmers can’t wait any longer for improvements to the AgriStability program – so the Ontario government is taking action and also calling on the federal government and other provinces to step up as well,” stated Thompson.

It’s not clear whether or not the province plans to fund 100 per cent of the top-up, or fund 40 per cent of it, primarily based on the standard 60/40 federal/provincial cost-sharing formulation.

Minister Bibeau initially proposed rising the compensation fee nationally from 70 to 80 per cent on a 60/40 cost-share foundation in November 2020. That provide stays on the desk, she says, however would nonetheless require approval from at the least two of the three hold-out Prairie provinces. The federal government is not going to signal aspect offers with particular person provinces, she says.

“By now it should be well understood that in order to change AgriStability at the national level, we need a strong majority of provinces to agree. This is how our cost-shared five-year federal-provincial agreements work. The Prairie provinces need to step up to make this happen,” says Bibeau, in an announcement shared with RealAgriculture on Monday.

Thompson’s predecessor, Ernie Hardeman, tried to construct a consensus amongst his provincial counterparts to assist enhancements to AgriStability. Whereas the compensation fee increase was not permitted throughout his time, ministers from throughout the nation agreed to take away the reference margin restrict in late March of this yr.

“I am very proud of the work I did alongside Minister Thompson’s predecessor to advocate and secure changes with all provinces and territories to finally remove the margin limit from AgriStability,” notes Bibeau.

It seems there was no dialogue between Thompson and Bibeau prior to the Ontario AgriStability compensation fee announcement on Friday .

“I look forward to meeting Minister Thompson for the first time and discussing together how we can best support farmers in the short and long term,” says Bibeau.

The federal and provincial governments are at the moment making ready for negotiations on the following five-year agricultural coverage framework, which might run from 2023 to 2028. Agriculture ministers from throughout the nation are planning to meet in September, the place it’s anticipated they will develop the priorities and a coverage assertion for the following five-year settlement.

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