Minister Horner provided the following update:
At our July meeting in Saskatoon, the federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) Ministers of Agriculture came to an agreement-in-principle on a new framework that will replace the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP).
I want to share the communique and backgrounder from the meeting, along with some highlights about the new Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership (SCAP) Framework.
The framework builds upon the five priorities from the Guelph Statement, which my colleagues and I agreed to last November:
- Tackling climate change and environmental protection to support GHG emission reductions and the long-term vitality of the sector while positioning producers and processors to seize economic opportunities from evolving consumer demands.
- Continued and targeted investments in science, research and innovation to address key challenges and opportunities.
- Supporting sustainable agriculture and economic growth by creating the conditions for Canadian businesses to meet evolving challenges of the interconnected domestic and global marketplace.
- Building sector capacity and growth through realizing the potential of value added agri-food and agri-products.
- Enhancing resiliency to anticipate, mitigate and respond to risks, including a robust suite of Business Risk Management programs.
The framework will take effect April 1, 2023, and run until March 31, 2028.
The funding details for the framework have been agreed-to-in-principle. Details will be confirmed as we complete the negotiation of the formal intergovernmental agreements and secure our respective authorities. In general:
- The new framework represents a 25 per cent increase from both the federal government and the provinces and territories. Half of the increased envelope is earmarked for the development and implementation of the cost-shared Resilient Agriculture Landscapes Program (RALP).
- The total value of the new framework is $2.5 billion (representing federal, provincial and territorial dollars), up from $2 billion under the current CAP Framework.
- Federal total contribution over the five-year period represents an increase of $300 million. Approximately $61 million of the increase is allocated to Alberta, an annual increase of $12 million over the current CAP Framework.
- The estimated total federal allocation to Alberta over the five-year period is $304.8 million or approximately $61 million per year. Of this amount, approximately $47.3 million per year is dedicated to Strategic Initiatives and Programs in Alberta. The remainder of the federal contribution in Alberta ($13.7 million) is earmarked for RALP and federal attributed programming.
- Alberta’s matching share of the new framework is $203 million over five years or approximately $40.6 million per year. This is an increase of $8.1 million per year over the current CAP Framework.
Over the course of the framework, my colleagues and I have agreed-in-principle to implement new measures to the suite of Business Risk Management (BRM) programs. The new measures will make the BRM programs more timely, equitable and easy to understand, as well as providing better protection to producers against climate risk.
- To enhance economic sustainability, ministers reached an agreement to raise the AgriStability compensation rate from 70 per cent to 80 per cent. This will bring up to an additional $72 million per year to better support farmers in times of need.
- FPT governments have identified key changes to improve the timeliness and predictability of AgriStability. Governments will be working together in consultation with producers to further analyze and implement this new model while ensuring a smooth transition during the next policy framework.
- AgriStability provides support when producers experience a large decline in farming income for reasons such as production loss, increased costs and market conditions.
- Improvements to the AgriInsurance program include a new, optional premium cost-sharing arrangement which allows producers to purchase insurance coverage for their total farm production at a lower cost. This change promotes farm diversification and program equity.
- Ministers agreed to conduct a one-year review on the implications of climate change and how to integrate climate risk and readiness in BRM programs, along with opportunities to enhance resilience to climate risk.
- After the review, each jurisdiction will identify potential AgriInsurance incentives and conduct a pilot for producers who adopt environmental practices that also reduce production risks.
To further promote environmental awareness, ministers agreed that in order to receive an AgriInvest government contribution, large farms (producers with allowable net sales of at least $1 million) will need an agri-environmental risk assessment (e.g. Environmental Farm Plan) by 2025.
There are no changes to Agri-Recovery.
During the meeting, my colleagues and I also had the opportunity to raise other important agriculture issues related to our jurisdictions. My colleague from Saskatchewan and I raised concerns with the federal government’s fertilizer emissions reduction target as western Canadian farmers already produce the most sustainable agri-food products in the world, and they’re continually being asked to do more with less. The FPT ministers agreed to continue to work together and with the sector’s value chain to build on producer efforts to reduce fertilizer-related emissions while maintaining competitiveness and Canada’s reputation as a top producer of quality crops.
Thank-you for the input and feedback you provided through our recent Next Policy Framework and BRM engagement activities and as I prepared for the annual conference of FPT Ministers of Agriculture to advance Alberta’s priorities on the national stage. Over the coming year, I look forward to continuing the dialogue about the development of the new Framework and positioning our industry for greater success.
Honourable Nate Horner
Minister, Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development