A much anticipated and long awaited flood recovery program for BC’s farmers and ranchers who suffered extensive damage during the Nov. 2021 flood event has now been announced.
Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, and Lana Popham, B.C.’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, have announced the Canada-BC Flood Recovery for Food Security Program, which 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 program will see $228 million distributed to those in the agricultural sector in the Southern Interior and Fraser Valley who were impacted by November’s flood event.
“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.”
The Canada-BC Flood Recovery Program for Food Security 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 November flooding was the most impactful agricultural disaster ever in our province, resulting in profound losses for many B.C. farmers and food producers, and we’re responding with a program that delivers the greatest amount of support of its kind in B.C.’s history,” said Popham.
“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 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.
The 2021 flood disaster impacted more than 1,100 farms, 15,000 hectares and 2.5 million livestock from the Sumas Prairie in Abbotsford to the communities and areas surrounding Merritt and Princeton.
The Government of British Columbia is disbursing recovery funding in two categories. Farms with less than $2 million in annual revenue will be eligible to receive up to 90% compensation, which the Province will seek reimbursement for through the federal government’s Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA).
Larger farms with annual sales over $2 million will be eligible to receive up to 70% compensation through the federal-provincial AgriRecovery initiative, which is cost-shared 60/40 respectively between governments.
Those who need financial assistance in the following areas are encouraged to apply at gov.bc.ca/agrifloodrecovery:
– support for flood cleanup that includes cleanup on lands and essential farm infrastructure that have been damaged due to floods;
– support for the removal, repair or replacement of uninsurable farm structures and farm production equipment that have been damaged due to floods;
– rental of essential alternate facilities or pasture required due to flooding;
– transportation costs for relocating livestock, feed available, water, stored crop and crop inputs due to floods;
– replacement of lost feed for breeding livestock feed due to floods;
– extraordinary costs for livestock feeding due to marketing delays caused by floods;
– veterinary costs to treat livestock injured by floods;
– support for uninsurable breeding livestock mortality losses caused by floods;
– land preparation and replanting costs for perennial crop plants that have been killed by flooding and crop land damaged by flooding;
-support for destroyed beehives and associated colonies.