Federal-Provincial-Territorial Meeting of Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Agriculture


OTTAWA, March 23, 2000 -- Federal and Provincial Ministers agreed today to a plan for farm income safety nets over the next three years. The plan includes basic safety net programming and an income disaster component.

       The Ministers will now take this plan back to their respective Cabinets to be ratified. The Ministers said they hope to accomplish this as soon as possible for the good of farmers, who have been waiting anxiously to find out the support they can expect.

       The Ministers also stressed the agreement is designed to provide the greatest degree of farm income stabilization possible and that they are very pleased with the progress made over the past two days.

       The tentative agreement would provide $665 million for basic safety net programs and access to $435 million in income disaster assistance in each of the next three years.

       Provincial allocations under the tentative agreement will be based on the size of the industry in each province.

       The Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food will be seeking funding to ensure no province receives less than its current share. He will also be seeking Cabinet approval for the third year of disaster assistance funding. This would bring the total Federal commitment to safety net funding to more than $3.3 billion for the next three years.

       Ministers expect to meet following ratification to deal with specific program details and the terms of reference for evaluation of the safety net programs.

       The Ministers said the talks over the past two days were an excellent example of cooperation among the provinces and the Government of Canada and that the deal reached meets the needs of Canadian producers.

       All federal funding under the new agreement will be cost-shared with provinces.

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Federal-Provincial Ministers agreed to seek concurrence of their cabinets for safety nets over the next three years:

  • The Federal Minister agreed to seek re-profiling of the $1.1 billion in federal safety net funding to $665 million for basic safety nets (Fall Cash Advances, NISA, Crop Insurance and Companion Programs and $435 million for the income disaster program component.    


  • The income disaster component of safety nets will be funded at $435 million annually    


  • the federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food will seek Cabinet authority for additional funding to ensure that no province receives less funding from the basic safety net envelope than the level established in 1999-2000    


  • Provincial allocations under the tentative agreement will be based on the size of the industry in each province.    


  • All Ministers committed to substantial review of the NISA program to ensure that the program better responds to the needs of farmers and is integrated more directly to the disaster program    


  • the Federal-Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food will seek authority for the third year of funding for disaster assistance    


  • Ministers will seek to ratify the agreement as soon as possible and meet to finalize the specific program details for safety nets    


  • terms of reference for review and evaluation of the three-year safety net arrangements will be prepared for agreement of all Ministers as soon as possible    


  • the Ministers agreed on an allocation for Newfoundland and Labrador of $2.35 million annually.