Metro Creative Connection

Metro Creative Connection

Alberta farmers need fixes to the AgriStability program

Letter to the Editor from Ronald Brochu

The AgriStability program was once a key program for Alberta farmers, designed to protect them against large declines in farming income. Iconic Albertan cattle ranchers and grain farmers were especially reliant on it as a guaranteed backstop should they face a bad year. It accounted for millions of dollars in the pockets of farmers who needed it the most.

However, farmers were blindsided in 2012 when the previous federal Conservative government cut AgriStability. The cuts included a “Reference Margin Limit”, which limits payments and makes the program too complex. Farmers have become increasingly frustrated that there is no predictability on receiving payment. As a result, most farmers do not even bother signing up for the program any more. They don’t believe it’s worth their time or money.

Recently, the federal Liberal Agriculture Minister proposed to improve the program by removing the “Reference Margin Limit” and increasing the compensation rate back up to 80 per cent. These proposed fixes to AgriStability would produce $170 million in direct support payments to farmers annually. Alberta farmers would enjoy a substantial financial boost by receiving a significant amount of those support dollars.

To make these changes happen, the federal Liberal Government need provinces to agree to pay their 40 per cent share. Provinces across Canada are agreeing, and it has come down to the Prairie governments to step up in support of their farmers.

Prairie farmers are urging their provincial governments to accept the deal, but the UCP Government does not seem enthusiastic to repair this broken program. The UCP Government has created the narrative that the Trudeau administration doesn’t do anything for Albertans. But here is a tangible example of action by the Feds that would provide a huge benefit to Alberta. This precious opportunity for farmers may be sacrificed on the altar of politics.

Proper support programs are vital to the success of farmers and rural Alberta as a whole. I worked with Farm Credit Canada and in agricultural finance, and I know the financial stress farmers can face. The Kenny government must listen to farmers on this one, take the deal, and get this important AgriStability program back on track.

— Ronald Brochu

Ronald has had a long career in tax and finance, including at Farm Credit Canada, Canada Revenue Agency and the Government of Alberta. Ron was also the federal Liberal candidate for Sturgeon River-Parkland in the 2019 election.

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta launches COVID vaccine lottery with million-dollar prizes to encourage uptake

The premier says the lottery will offer three prizes worth $1 million a piece, as well as other prizes

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Member Terry Parsons’ custom built track vehicle.
Forestburg’s Area 53 Racetrack gears up for action-packed season

Site will also host a portion of the ‘Miles of Mayhem’ event in July

Sabrina Wilde in front of a recently purchased monster truck. Submitted.
Thorsby business women a finalist for 2021 Alberta Women’s Entrepreneurship Award

Sabrina Wilde with Lone Wolf Mechanical is a finalist for the entrepreneurial award.

Grade 12 students at Wetaskiwin Composite High School took place in the annual water fight off school property on June 11, 2021. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Graduating students in Wetaskiwin throw water fight after being told it could result in suspension

Students were told their participation could result in them being barred from graduation ceremonies.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

Most Read