Minister Bibeau and Minister Morrow meet with impacted farmers in Nova Scotia

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Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Hurricane Fiona has caused significant damage to agricultural properties, barns and storage infrastructure, as well as to grain and horticultural crops affecting communities in the Atlantic region. Today, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, travelled to Nova Scotia to meet with farmers and hear how the storm impacted farm operations, families and livelihoods.

Minister Bibeau toured affected areas of Antigonish and Pictou counties with Nova Scotia’s Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Greg Morrow. Ministers Bibeau and Morrow visited livestock farms, fruit and vegetable farms, and a maple syrup producer. They saw firsthand the widespread damage caused by the storm to Nova Scotia’s agriculture sector, as well as the fallout from extended power failures that affected a number of farming operations.

During a townhall with the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture, Minister Bibeau and Minister Morrow spoke with local farmers and heard about the devastation many experienced. They also heard stories about the courage and resilience of Nova Scotians in the hours and days following, as they coped with property damage and long periods without power.

The governments of Canada and Nova Scotia continue to stand with farmers and communities who are feeling the impacts of Hurricane Fiona.

A suite of business risk management (BRM) programs is available to help producers facing the fallout from Hurricane Fiona. These programs help producers manage risks that threaten the viability of their farms, and provide protection against different types of income and production losses.

Producers are encouraged to apply for interim payments under AgriStability to help them cope with immediate financial challenges. The governments of Canada and Nova Scotia have agreed to increase the 2022 AgriStability interim benefit payment percentage from 50% to 75%, so producers can access a greater portion of their benefit early to meet their urgent needs. Nova Scotia is also opening up late participation in AgriStability to farmers who did not register in 2022, so they can take advantage of this important income support.

Recovering from the widespread impacts of Hurricane Fiona will require a collective effort. The Government of Canada will continue work in partnership with provincial governments to respond to the needs of the agricultural sector impacted by the storm and support the long-term recovery of impacted regions.

Quotes

“Extreme weather events are a stark reminder that farmers and ranchers are among the hardest hit by climate change. These events are adding more stress and unpredictability to their businesses. Farm families in Nova Scotia and across the regions affected by Hurricane Fiona can rest assured that we will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them to help them get back on their feet as soon as possible.”

– The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“We are working hard to support Canadians across Atlantic Canada and Eastern Quebec who have been impacted by Hurricane Fiona, including our hard-working farmers, producers, and all those working in the agriculture industry. As communities recover from the impacts of the storm, the Government of Canada will continue to work in close collaboration with the Province of Nova Scotia to provide communities with the resources they need.”

– The Honourable Bill Blair, President of the King’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness

“I’ve been visiting local farmers since the day after the storm and have seen firsthand not only the damage to crops and infrastructure, but also the impact it has had on farmers and their families. That’s why we have these programs – and that’s why we’re making them available to more producers and in new ways. It’s going to take time to fully recover, but based on the strength and resilience I’ve seen from producers these last few weeks, despite the circumstances, I know our producers will recover – and we’re here to help.”

– The Honourable Greg Morrow, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Agriculture

“Hurricane Fiona landed in our province during harvest season. Not only impacting crops, but also buildings and other important infrastructure. Farms across Nova Scotia were significantly impacted and will be dealing with these impacts for quite some time. We appreciate Minister Bibeau and Minister Morrow taking the time to visit and connect with our members.”

– Tim Marsh, President of Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture

Quick facts

  • Following Hurricane Fiona’s landfall on Sept 23-24, the federal government approved requests for federal assistance from the governments of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • The federal government, through the Government Operations Centre, is working with provincial partners to coordinate the federal response and ensure that the provinces have the resources they need to support the people of Atlantic Canada and Eastern Quebec.
  • In response to these requests, the government continues to support provinces with their immediate needs. Since the storm, up to 850 Canadian Armed Forces members have been deployed to remove debris and assist in the restoration of transportation links and the power grid, as well as to perform wellness checks in affected communities.
  • On September 25, 2022, the Government of Canada announced a donation-matching program with the Canadian Red Cross to support those impacted by the storm. The government will continue to match donations Canadians and corporations make for the next 30 days from September 25, with the possibility of extension.
  • Residents who have been impacted by Hurricane Fiona should register with the Canadian Red Cross by calling 1-800-863-6582 or online at www.redcross.ca/hurricanefiona.
  • Canadians wishing to make a financial donation to help those impacted by Hurricane Fiona can do so online at redcross.ca, by calling 1-800-418-1111, or by texting FIONA to 20222 to make a $10 donation.