Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

March 16, 2007 14:24 ET

Minister Strahl Comments on Farmer Savings Program and the Replacement of CAIS

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - March 16, 2007) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board, today issued a statement following the Prime Minister's March 9, 2007 announcement of a $1 billion investment to improve national farm income programs.

"Canada's New Government is proud to support our farmers. Since being elected, we have listened to producers across the country tell us that the Canadian Agricultural Income Stabilization (CAIS) program was not addressing their needs. And with our provincial and territorial counterparts, we have responded with significant improvements to the margin-based program, agreement in principle has been reached on a disaster relief framework and we are working to expand Production Insurance to more commodities.

"The Prime Minister announced last week a $1 billion commitment to help address gaps in existing programs and significant increases in the cost of production. A farmer savings program is an important step forward in replacing CAIS with programming that is more predictable, bankable and better able to help producers respond to rising costs.

"This new program combined with the disaster relief framework, improved production insurance, and an improved margin-based program represents this Government's proposal for the replacement of CAIS.

"The funds announced last week include a $400 million payment to help with the high cost of production. Funds will be delivered through a direct payment to producers of non-supply managed commodities. Producers will receive a payment directly and will not have to apply. Details will be available in the coming weeks.

"An additional $600 million in federal funding, once agreement is reached with the provinces and territories, will kick-start new producer savings accounts.

"I want to be clear that we are not asking provinces and territories to match the $600 million in new funding for these accounts. But we must come to an agreement with them on the details of this new approach, including cost sharing future government contributions to the accounts on an ongoing basis.

"As the Prime Minister said, farmers are the bedrock of Canadian industry. I wholeheartedly agree. And that is why this government will continue to follow through on the commitment in our first Throne Speech, to secure a prosperous future for Canadian agriculture."

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    613-759-7972 or 1-866-345-7972
    Minister Strahl's Office
    Conrad Bellehumeur
    Director of Communications