EAST HANTS: Many East Hants farmers, like those across Nova Scotia, have made improvements to health and safety to help protect their workers and prevent the spread of COVID-19. They can now apply for funding to help cover some of those costs.
A new agreement between the Government of Canada and Nova Scotia will see Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada invest $983,500, for a total of $1,229,375 available funding under the Emergency On-Farm Support Fund.
“It’s a priority to ensure that all Nova Scotia workers can perform their jobs safely during this pandemic,” said Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell. “By supporting farm workers, we are also protecting our high-quality food supply and maintaining a strong agriculture sector.”
Applicants are eligible for federal assistance and a provincial top-up, for up to 75 per cent of eligible project costs, to a maximum of $50,000.
Farmers seeking to apply for funding must do so before Dec. 31 by going to https://novascotia.ca/programs/ .
In addition to the Emergency On-Farm Support Fund, there is a range of other programs to support farmers and food producers through these challenging times:
— helping agri-food sectors cover the incremental costs associated with the mandatory 14-day isolation period
— a COVID-19 Response and Mitigation Program, funded under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, to help food producers with the costs of meeting extra health requirements due to COVID-19, help producers get their crops to market, fund projects aimed at maintaining competitiveness, productivity, profitability and support abattoir efficiency and development
— increasing the 2020 AgriStability interim benefit payment percentage from 50 to 75 per cent for producers
— enhancing the AgriInsurance program to include labour shortages due to COVID-19 during the 2020 growing season
— this added funding for enhanced worker and workplace safety builds on government actions taken this year to support Nova Scotia farms and other agri-food sector businesses
“Everyone needs to feel safe and supported when they go to work. Since the start of the pandemic, it has been a top priority to protect the health of all farm workers who are working hard to feed Canadians. With this program, Nova Scotia farmers will have the support they need to ensure the right measures are in place to safeguard their employees’ health and safety and limit the spread of the virus.”
– Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
— the Government of Canada is investing $35 million to improve health and safety on farms through the Emergency On-Farm Support Fund
— the creation of this fund was first announced on July 31, along with increased supports to temporary foreign workers, strengthened employer inspections and the development of improved living accommodations by employers
— as part of its actions to protect the health and safety of foreign workers, the Government of Canada has been working with provinces and territories, as well as a range of partners and stakeholders, to ensure employers and temporary foreign workers are aware of their obligations and respect the rules to help prevent the importation and spread of COVID-19
To learn about the Emergency On-Farm Support Fund: https://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/agricultural-programs-and-services/emergency-on-farm-support-fund/?id=1600991301312
To learn about safety guidelines for employers and employees in Nova Scotia: