GNCC officials weigh in on federal agri-food funding

CKTB - NEWS - Farming

Although some help is coming for Canada's agri-food sector, there are still concerns about weathering the COVID-19 storm.

The federal government is offering $252 million in relief, mainly for workers at processing plants and farmers and growers facing decreased demands for livestock and crops as restaurants serve fewer people.

The Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce's Director of Policy and Government Relations Hugo Chesshire welcomed the announcement, but says there are still local concerns.

"There's been a lot of uncertainty. First it was the uncertainty about the migrant workers, whether or not they'd be allowed in. And then that was cleared up and there'd be a 14 day delay, which obviously costs them as well. They don't come in on a certain date in order to take a vacation, they come in on a certain date because they need to start working right away. So that 14 day delay is costly."

Chesshire points out in terms of population quotient, Niagara has one of the biggest agricultural sectors in the province, chiefly in tender fruit.

During yesterday's announcement, Prime Minister Trudeau promised more help would be coming for the industry.

GNCC President Mishka Balsom echoes that sentiment. "It's a temporary approach to it, but it's definitely not the full support of the sector. I think we're hearing from a number of ministers too that there are more announcements in the weeks to come for this industry."

The latest funding falls well below the $2.6 billion the Canadian Federation of Agriculture was hoping for.

  • Niagara Made - Episode 20

    This week, Ruth Unrau spoke with Tracy Dixon from R&T Auctions in Niagara Falls about how she, along with her partner, have created a very successful auction business based in Niagara Falls in just 3 short years. R & T Auctions provide many services when people are looking to downsize, have an estate sale, or just to get rid of extra “stuff” - from an auction, to a consignment store, to donating to a charity.    
  • Sara Pot - Online Parent Support Moderator - Help Kids Shine

    Sara Pot first became involved with Niagara Children’s Centre in 2006 and two of her children have received support from Niagara Children’s Centre. She is now a part-time employee at the Centre and moderates an online support group for Niagara families with children with special needs.
  • Push for Niagara River Ramsar Designation

    Shelby Knox Speaks with Wayne Redekop – Mayor of Fort Erie regarding the push for a Niagara River Ramsar designation