Aug. 1, 2012
Regrding your article on the dry weather situation in Ontario – there’s no question it has been a really tough season so far for farmers in parts of the province.
My officials are working closely with their Ontario colleagues under the AgriRecovery framework to assess the impact of the dry growing conditions on Ontario's livestock industry. We are working as quickly as possible but I'd like to stress that this assessment process is essential to ensuring that any measures put in place are targeted to the specific needs of affected producers.
It is still too early know the full extent of the drought, as production is still underway across the province. Once we have the complete picture of damage to forage and feed stocks in Ontario, our officials will work to complete the assessment in 45 days.Then governments will have the information we need to determine what further assistance may be needed in addition to our existing programs.
Meantime, producers have access to support through existing programs -- AgriInsurance, AgriStability, and AgriInvest. Together with AgriRecovery, these programs have delivered close to $1.4 billion to Ontario producers over the past five years. We are working with the province to ensure funds are available as quickly as possible.
I’ve also directed my officials to work with the province on an assessment for designating affected drought regions under the Livestock Tax Deferral Program.
Just as we have demonstrated in the past, our Government will continue to be there for Ontario farmers when it matters most.