Every year, Emergency Preparedness Week serves as an opportunity to remind Canadians of the importance of being prepared for any emergency situation that can occur. Over the past few years, Canada’s agriculture sector has faced many challenges, including devastating floods, a historic drought and a global pandemic. Today, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced an investment of over $3 million for two projects to enhance emergency management, develop risk assessments and strategies to mitigate disease outbreaks.
Extreme weather events and natural disasters are a growing threat to the safety and economic stability of Canadian communities. To support the resiliency of country’s agriculture and agri-food sector throughout these difficult times, it is imperative that producers and processors have access to the resources they need in the face of emergencies.
“Emergency Preparedness Week is an opportunity to review our emergency preparedness plans in the agricultural sector. The weather events of the past year and the avian flu we are currently experiencing are some examples of the many kinds of challenges agricultural producers must be ready to face. Our government continues to improve its practices, invest in prevention and support those who ensure our food security.”
The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Funding for the two recipient organizations will help the sector increase its capacity to face emergencies. The recipient organizations include:
- Animal Health Canada (formally known as National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council) in Elora, Ontario will receive up to $2,572,888, for a three year project under the AgriAssurance Program to enhance Animal Health Emergency Management in provincial/national associations. This project will help enhance the emergency management capabilities of Canada’s livestock and poultry industries, to remain ready in the face of adverse events and a continually evolving disease landscape. Outcomes include addressing lessons learned from previous animal health emergencies, improving protocols, and developing training and resources.
- Swine Innovation Porc will receive up to $446,135 under the Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program, to develop strategies to mitigate the impact of an African swine fever outbreak on the pork sector. This will help the industry prepare for a potential disease incursion and help manage surplus animals in the event of an outbreak.
“This dedicated funding for emergency management and risk assessment in the agriculture sector is a step forward that will benefit the industry, while helping our hardworking farmers and producers who feed Canadians stay prepared for future emergencies. As we mark Emergency Preparedness Week, a dedicated focus on being prepared across sectors will make Canada more resilient to the threats that exist, both globally and domestically.”
The Honourable Bill Blair, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness
Producers also have access to a comprehensive suite of Business Risk Management (BRM) programs to help them manage risks that threaten the viability of their farms. AgriStability, one of the BRM programs, protects Canadian producers against large declines in farming income for reasons such as production loss, disease outbreak, increased costs and changing market conditions. To allow farmers more time to sign up and take advantage of the support available under the program, governments recently agreed to extend the deadline to enroll to June 30, 2022.
This year’s theme is Emergency Preparedness Week: Be Ready for Anything, which highlights the importance of being prepared before disasters strike. The Government recognizes the challenges our agriculture sector has endured and will continue to work with industry partners to invest in tools and resources that help prepare for emergencies in the future.
“Past experience has demonstrated the importance of emergency preparedness to respond and recover from disruptive events. The Swine Innovation Porc welcomes the support of the Government of Canada in supporting new initiatives to develop innovative methods to face food supply threats such as African Swine Fever outbreak.”
René Roy, Vice-Chair Swine Innovation Porc