Horticulture Council of Canada continues to warn of labour shortages

The Horticulture Council of Canada says the federal government is using inaccurate numbers to describe how many temporary foreign workers are in the country. During a May 19 virtual meeting of the standing committee on agriculture and agri-food, council president Brian Gilroy said food security continues to be threatened as a result of labour shortages […] Read more

CERB is available to Canadians who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and provides temporary income support of $500 a week for up to 16 weeks. | Screencap via canada.ca

Ag committee hears CERB hurting employers

Members of the parliamentary standing committee on agriculture and agri-food heard from industry leaders May 15 about the challenges brought on by the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit. CERB is available to Canadians who have stopped working because of COVID-19 and provides temporary income support of $500 a week for up to 16 weeks. Ron Lemaire, […] Read more

The fund announcement came shortly after federal officials announced changes aimed at creating flexibility within the temporary foreign worker program. The temporary changes allow workers who have lost their jobs to stay in Canada under their pre-existing closed work permit and start at another job sooner. | File photo

Ottawa offers more measures to help ag sector

The federal government continues to unveil policies and dollars they say will assist agricultural sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. A $100-million fund, launching in partnership with Calgary-based Forage Capital Inc., will be used “to support proven, viable companies through unexpected business disruptions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.” According to the federal government, Farm Credit Canada […] Read more



James Donaldson, who sits on the board of the organization that represents more than 1,500 food and beverage manufacturing businesses, says the companies he represents have seen their costs increase $800 million as a result of COVID-19 and these costs cannot easily be passed on to consumers. | Screencap via fbc-abc.com

Food and beverage sector calls for changes to federal pandemic relief

Officials from Food and Beverage Canada told a parliamentary committee that the COVID-19 pandemic shows there is a “fundamental misunderstanding of how Canada’s food system operates” among senior policy makers. The comments were made during a digital meeting of the standing committee on agriculture and agri-food on May 8. James Donaldson, who sits on the […] Read more


During her one-hour appearance at the digital committee meeting, Bibeau faced regular criticism from opposing MPs for not offering more assistance to farmers, with many of them citing the Canadian Federation of Agriculture's $2.5 billion funding request. | Screencap via ourcommons.ca

Bibeau faces off with opposition MPs over pandemic supports

Minister of Agriculture Marie-Claude Bibeau confirmed to a parliamentary committee that the cost of business risk management programs would exceed its usual expense because of COVID-19. Typically around $1.6 billion is spent on the programming each year, but on May 12 Bibeau told the standing committee on agriculture that the amount is “expected to be […] Read more

Conservative MP Richard Lehoux charged the $100 million made available to help livestock producers deal with processing delays was not enough to cover producer costs, particularly if pork producers were forced to destroy animals. | Screencap via ourcommons.ca

Ag committee meets online, opposition critiques federal COVID response

Opposition MPs used the first meeting of the standing committee on agriculture and agri-food since the pandemic began May 5 to critique the federal Liberal’s $252 million aid package for farmers and food processors. Conservative MP Richard Lehoux charged the $100 million made available to help livestock producers deal with processing delays was not enough […] Read more

Researchers predict agri-food technology to grow post-COVID-19

A researcher at the University of Guelph says the COVID-19 pandemic will spark agility — particularly related to technology — in agriculture. “(The pandemic) has re-emphasized the need to get access to some of the technology that exists in other sectors and are not easily accessible in agri-food systems,” said Rozita Dara, an associate professor […] Read more


Lisa Bishop-Spencer, director of brand and communications for Chicken Farmers of Canada, said the idea was initiated by Restaurants Canada. | Screencap via Twitter/@RestaurantsCA

Takeout Day helps restaurants as industry continues to struggle

Commodity groups have joined Restaurants Canada and are encouraging people to order take-out food once a week to support the industry in the face of COVID-19. Lisa Bishop-Spencer, director of brand and communications for Chicken Farmers of Canada, said the idea was initiated by Restaurants Canada. “They were looking for different ways by which they […] Read more

In a report resulting from discussion with 40 stakeholders, the Ottawa-based think-tank said the supply chain is performing well but uncertainty prevails. | Screencap via capi-icpa.ca

New report identifies short, long-term challenges of COVID-19

The Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute has identified short- and long-term issues affecting the food system’s resilience. In a report resulting from discussion with 40 stakeholders, the Ottawa-based think-tank said the supply chain is performing well but uncertainty prevails. Many challenges currently facing the industry, according to the report, were related to logistics. Supply does not […] Read more