September 19th, 2012

Conservative’s reckless cuts to BRM programs hurt Canadian farmers

Recently announced cuts to the Business Risk Management (BRM) programs will take millions of dollars out of the pockets of Canadian farmers. New Democrats are calling on the Conservatives to reverse these drastic measures in order to ensure that farmers have the backstop they need when they encounter tough times.

“These reckless cuts will leave farmers more vulnerable during a time when we are seeing increased market volatility and natural disasters”, said NDP Agriculture Critic Malcolm Allen. “The new framework will no doubt leave producers bearing more of the risk and when farmers suffer, all Canadians suffer.“

Under the new Growing Forward agreement, the government will only match 1% of producer deposits (instead of 1.5 per cent of Allowable net Sales under the previous agreement) and the cap on the government's contribution has also been dropped by $7,500.

The threshold for support has also been made stricter, only providing assistance once a producer’s margin falls below 70 per cent of their historical reference margins instead of the previous 85 per cent. These cutbacks will result in $445 million less in key annual safety net programs for farmers.

“Many agriculture organizations and industry groups across the country are expressing their disappointment with this government’s lack of consultation when they made these irresponsible decisions to slash BRM programming,” said NDP Deputy Agriculture Critic Ruth Ellen Brosseau.