Photo: The Canadian Press
Canadian egg and poultry producers who have lost domestic market share due to two recent free trade agreements will have access to $ 691 million in federal cash.
Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced the long-awaited funds on Saturday at a virtual press conference.
The money follows a previously announced $ 1.75 billion for the dairy sector linked to free trade agreements with Europe and Pacific countries.
These funds were to be disbursed over eight years, and the first payment of $ 345 million was sent last year.
But on Saturday, Bibeau announced a schedule of remaining payments that will see the money allocated over three years.
Canada’s dairy, poultry and egg industries are regulated to provide a stable income for dairy farmers, but Canada’s trading partners argue the system is protectionist.
This has made the trio of industries a sticking point in three separate trade agreements Canada has entered into in recent years – CETA, the Comprehensive and Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (CPTPP) and the Canada-United States Trade Agreement. United – Mexico (ACCEU).
Trading partners wanted better Canadian access for their products, which Canadian suppliers believed would have a massive impact on their bottom line.
The Liberals’ March 2019 budget in turn allocated up to $ 3.9 billion in compensation for trade concessions made on supply management.
The funds announced by Bibeau on Saturday are tied only to CETA and CPTPP.
She said the government remains committed to providing full compensation to CUSMA as well.
Bibeau said the most recently announced funds for dairy farmers amount to an average farm of 80 cows receiving a direct payment of $ 38,000 in the first year.
Money for egg and poultry farmers will go into 10-year programs, with details still being worked out, Bibeau said.