POP: Payments for Producers Affected by Weather Related Disasters
Res #: POP 8-07A
Responses Received: No
Payments for Producers Affected by Weather Related Disasters
WHEREAS, there is no long-term disaster program in place to address disaster problems; and
WHEREAS, there is an ongoing drought in southern Saskatchewan that has created significant hardships in 2006;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that SARM lobby both federal and provincial governments to provide immediate assistance of $25 per acre for producers affected by weather-related disasters in 2006.
Response from Honourable Mark Wartman, Minister of Agriculture and Food:
The Government of Saskatchewan continues to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation facing producers in Southwest Saskatchewan and has proposed real solutions. However, the federal government needs to recognize it must play a major role in this type of disaster.
In a letter to Minister Strahl dated December 4, 2006, the Minister of Agriculture and Food requested that drought areas in Southwest Saskatchewan be used as a pilot under the new disaster program in order to assist producers in the area. Even though, historically, the federal government has taken the major responsibility to address disaster situations, Saskatchewan indicated it would be willing to cost-share such a program, 90 per cent federally and 10 per cent provincially. In Quebec, when Golden Nematode devastated potato producers, the federal government stepped up with a disaster program that was not required to be cost-shared by the Province of Quebec – it was funded 100 per cent by the federal government. To date, the federal government has not responded.
The best long-term solution to addressing weather related disasters is to ensure we have an appropriate crop insurance program and an appropriate disaster program that can deal with any situations beyond the scope of crop insurance (and Canadian Agricultural Income Stabilization program). We will have to wait and see whether the proposed disaster program will provide additional coverage for weather disasters.