April 3, 2020
The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Delivered via email: email@example.com
Re: Liquidity Crisis Facing Businesses in the Agriculture & Agri-food Sector
Dear Minister Bibeau,
Agriculture and Agri-Food producers in my riding, and across the nation, are facing a liquidity crisis of unprecedented proportions due the devastating economic impacts resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Farmers are crying-out for action, now, on Business Risk Management programming. Any financial fall-backs they had to help weather this current storm have been wiped-out over the last few years by global trade issues, market-closures, domestic rail-blockades, poor harvests – the list goes on.
I echo the calls of our agriculture associations: the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, the Canadian Cattleman’s Association, the Grain Growers of Canada, and many, many more. Government must provide immediate monetary support through AgriInvest accounts as a desperately needed short-term bridge while meaningful changes are made to the AgriStability program.
And while these additional measures need to be taken, I want to thank your staff and the public servants at the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for their responsiveness to inquiries and acknowledge the pressure everyone is under at this time.
This stress is most acutely felt, however, by the many businesses who make their living in this sector and quite simply do not know how they are going to survive. The implications of this are dire, not only for the families these businesses support, but for the safety and security of Canada’s food supply chain.
Thank you for your commitment to addressing these challenges.
Brad Vis, M.P.
April 3, 2020