Goodmans  

Support for Sectors - Agriculture, Agri-Food, Aquaculture and Fisheries

The Government of Canada is taking steps to support processors, producers and agri-food businesses who are experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. These measures include support for workers, increased credit, and increased funding for costs incurred by COVID-19. The following provides a brief summary of these government programs, including details relating to eligibility, how to apply and general terms and conditions, as applicable. We will endeavour to update this page on a daily basis. However, for a complete and up to date description, please consult the applicable program webpage. Should you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to a Goodmans lawyer. Programs include:



Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program (“MISTFWP”)

Program Overview

  • MISTFWP is a one-time $50 million program to help with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on food supply in Canada by assisting the farming, fish harvesting, and food production and processing sectors.
  • A maximum non-repayable contribution of $1,500 in support for each eligible temporary foreign worker will be provided to employers or those working with them to ensure the requirements of MISTFWP are fully met.

Eligibility

  • Eligible recipients are Canadian employers in the farming, fish harvesting, and food production and processing sectors
  • The contribution can be used for the following:
    • wages and benefits of the temporary foreign workers during the mandatory 14-day isolation period;
    • offsite accommodations during the mandatory 14-day isolation period;
    • transportation to and from offsite accommodations required during the mandatory 14-day isolation period;
    • food or a food allowance during the mandatory 14-day isolation period;
    • health and safety supplies such as gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, disinfectant cleaners and soaps required for the mandatory 14-day isolation period; and
    • other incremental costs directly associated to the 14 day mandatory isolation period imposed on temporary foreign workers under the Quarantine Act.
  • Employers must comply with isolation protocols, public health orders, and the regulations of the Temporary Workers program for the 14-day isolation period. Employers must also comply with regulations regarding wages and other employment conditions of the program they hired their temporary foreign workers through.

How to Apply

  • Details on how to apply can be found here.
    • Applications to the program will be accepted until June 30, 2020.
    • Note: The application deadline may be changed in the event that the mandatory 14-day self isolation requirements imposed under Quarantine Act are lifted or extended.
    • Note: Payments can be applied retroactively as the program allows for employers to submit claims for reimbursement.

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Increasing Credit Availability

Program Overview

  • Farm Credit Canada (“FCC”) will provide an additional $5 billion in lending to producers, agribusinesses, and food processors.
  • The following initiatives have been put into place:
    • a deferral of principal and interest payments up to six months for existing loans; or
    • a deferral of principal payments up to 12 months; and
    • access to an additional credit line up to $500,000, secured by general security agreements or universal movable hypothec (Québec only)

Eligibility

  • Funding is available to producers, agribusinesses, and food processors.
  • FCC will assess each application on a case-by-case basis. Businesses applying for FCC lending products are subject to normal lending due diligence, which considers business viability, credit history, and management integrity and experience.
  • Customers facing financial pressure are encouraged to contact their FCC relationship manager or the FCC Customer Service Centre to discuss their individual situation and options.

How to Apply

Applications are now open and eligible business can apply here.

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The Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund  

Program Overview

  • The Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund will provide $62.5 million of new assistance to the fish and seafood processing sector

Eligibility Criteria

  • Details regarding eligibility and the duration of this program are currently not available.

How to Apply

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The Emergency Processing Fund

Program Overview

  • The federal government has create a  $77.5 million Emergency Processing Fund to help food producers access more personal protective equipment (“PPE”), adapt to health protocols, automate or modernize facilities, processes, and operations, and respond to emerging pressures

Eligibility Criteria

  • Details regarding the eligibility of this program are currently not available.

How to Apply

  • Further details to come.

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The National AgriRecovery Initiative  

Program Overview

  • Up to $125 million in funding is being provided to help producers faced with additional costs incurred by COVID-19.
  • This new funding will help beef and pork producers and processors adapt to a changing market, and help farmers and ranchers keep their animals longer before marketing.

Eligibility

  • This funding is available to beef and pork producers.
  • Further details to come.

How to Apply

  • Further details to come.

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The Canadian Dairy Commission Borrowing Limit

Program Overview

  • The Canadian Dairy Commission’s borrowing limit will be increased by $200 million (from $300 million to $500 million) to support costs associated with the temporary storage of cheese and butter to avoid food waste

Eligibility

  • Details regarding the eligibility of this program are currently not available.

How to Apply

  • Further details to come.

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The Surplus Food Purchase Program

Program Overview

Eligibility

  • Details regarding the eligibility of this program are currently not available.

How to Apply

  • Details regarding the application process of this program are currently not available.

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The AgriStability Initiative

Program Overview

  • This initiative will increase interim AgriStability payments from 50% to 75% for producers who experience a large margin decline.  
  • The AgriStability Benefit Estimator provides businesses with an estimated benefit using the business’s program margin and reference margin. Businesses may be able to receive an AgriStability payment when their current year program margin falls below 70% of their reference margin.  

Eligibility

  • Businesses are eligible for AgriStability if they earn income from the primary production of agricultural commodities and farm in Canada1, file an income tax return reporting farming income (loss) to the Canada Revenue Agency, complete a minimum of six consecutive months of farming activity and a production cycle, unless they experience a disaster, and complete an application.

How to Apply

  • Enrol for the 2020 program year by July 3, 2020, pay the fee and send in the completed AgriStability form by the deadline (September 30 – initial filing deadline, December 31 – final filing deadline (with penalty)).
  • Further details to come.

1Note that the federal government delivers AgriStability in Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Yukon. AgriStability is delivered provincially in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec and Prince Edward Island.

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Expanding AgriInsurance

Program Overview

  • The Federal government in cooperation with the provinces and territories is currently examining expanding the AgriInsurance program to include labour shortages as an eligible risk for horticulture producers.
  • This program is part of the $252 million aid package aimed at helping farmers, food processors, and other industry proponents in the agriculture sector address challenges posed by COVID-19. Exact funding details have not been released.

Eligibility

  • Producers who suffer lost production due to the inability to find sufficient labour to assist with the harvest could be eligible for recovery of such losses under this program. Eligibility criteria is established at the provincial level and is currently available to most producers. Specific eligibility details about labour shortages as an eligible risk have not been released.

How to Apply

  • Access the relevant provincial websites to apply. Specific details about labour shortage as an eligible risk have not been released.
  • Further details to come.

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Youth Employment and Skills Program ("YESP")

Program Overview

  • Up to $9.2 million will be provided to enhance the Youth Employment and Skills Program and fund up to 700 new positions for youth in the agriculture industry.
  • Eligible employers may receive 80% of total eligible costs up to a maximum of $14,000. An additional $5,000 is available for youth facing barriers.

Eligibility

  • Eligible employers are agricultural related organizations (farmers, food processors, agriculture non-governmental organizations) who can provide youth with opportunities in agriculture career-related work in Canada
  • Eligible projects must be completed by March 31, 2021.

How to Apply

Employers can apply on or after May 26, 2020 for their project to be considered.

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