Lakeland MP Shannon Stubbs has invited the federal Minister of Agriculture to tour the area and see what farmers are dealing with this year. Stubbs says in a letter to Marie-Claude Bibeau that more must be done to help producers during 2020.
“Farmers are trying to navigate government programs while facing financial devastation. It is not mere ‘emotions’ when your family watches their once-a-year paycheck freeze on the field, then have that paycheck cut even further because the carbon tax your government hiked increased the cost of drying this already devalued crop. Then, during a pandemic – when other families and small businesses are provided loans and income stabilization – farmers are blocked for months from accessing these programs. Minister, this is not good enough. I urge you and your government to do better for Canada’s agriculture sector.”
Stubbs cites the rainfall and spring flooding that the area has received so far during the growing season. Five counties in Lakeland have already officially declared Agricultural Emergencies, including Lamont County, St. Paul County, Athabasca County, Smoky Lake County and Thorhild County.
Stubbs says so far the Liberal government has not offered any relief and existing programs aren’t helping.
“Minister, this is not good enough. I urge you and your government to do better for Canada’s agriculture sector. I am proud of the agricultural sector in Lakeland, and of the hard work that farmers and producers, their families and their workers, are doing under extreme pressure.”