Question Period: Crop Insurance Program

By: The Hon. Patricia Bovey

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Hon. Patricia Bovey: Thank you for being here, minister. You mentioned Mother Nature. The flooding in Manitoba is devastating. Fields are sodden and wet, and many are under water.

According to the latest crop report in Manitoba for the period ending May 31, seeding progress sits at 40% completion behind a five-year average of 91% for week 21. We are all worried about food prices and shortages due to the weather here at home combined with the situation in Ukraine.

How is your department working to mitigate these concerns and those farmer concerns for crop insurance, as some insurance end dates for planting are nearing us, like corn, which ended May 30? If farmers risk planting after the end date, what help will your government give if weather continues to be detrimental?

Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau, P.C., M.P., Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food: We have a range of business risk management programs, mainly four. We have crop insurance, and I am in discussion with the provinces because, once again, these programs are cost-shared and often managed by the provinces. A discussion is happening with the provinces in terms of the delay.

There is AgriStability, for example, another business risk management program besides crop insurance. It will kick in if a producer sees a significant decrease in their margins. There is also AgriRecovery that a province would start if a situation — often a weather event — creates exceptional costs for a sector or for a region, for example. This applied last year because of the drought in the Prairies and in Ontario and because of the floods in B.C. The AgriRecovery program worked quite well. The collaboration with the provinces was good, and we were able to make these programs work quickly when we were faced with those situations.

These are two of the programs that could be used if the situation doesn’t get better.

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