Feds expected to unveil emergency COVID-19 aid for agri food sector

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The Trudeau government is expected to announce today significant, targeted financial support for farmers hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement will come just as some farmers are making decisions about whether to plant crops and others are considering whether they need to cull their cattle, pigs and poultry because of the reduced capacity of meat processing plants, which have proven particularly vulnerable to the spread of the deadly coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

The federal government has taken some small steps to cushion the blow to farmers but Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau has been promising for several weeks that more aid is coming.

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The Canadian Federation of Agriculture has been warning that financial assistance is urgently needed to protect against food shortages in Canada.

Two weeks ago, the federation urged the government to make food security a top priority, second only to protecting the health of Canadians.

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“It was a large step to take, and while CFA does not mean to cause panic about food insecurity, we felt like there was no other option as our sector is at a tipping point where the consequences of a lack of meaningful support from our federal government will impact our domestic food supply,” federation president Mary Robinson said in a statement issued on April 20.

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