On April 7, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland delivered the federal government’s 2022 budget, outlining its spending priorities for the coming year.
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In it, the Liberals re-announced a series of initiatives introduced the week prior to help farmers combat climate change – but committed only to announcing the details of compensation for CUSMA in a fall fiscal update.

Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) recently aligned with the government’s climate change objectives by setting a goal of net-zero emissions from farm-level dairy production by 2050 – and as such, we welcome the funding announced in the budget to support the energy transition and sustainability at the farm level. However, compensation for the impacts of CUSMA is equally vital, as farmers will need to dedicate additional resources to support innovation and sustainability initiatives.

DFC issued a statement to the media noting that the absence of compensation details left dairy farmers wanting. We will continue to engage directly with government officials from the ministries of agriculture and agri-food, international trade and finance to ensure full and fair compensation for CUSMA is announced in the fall update as promised.

Budget highlights for dairy farmers
A further $329.4 million over six years, starting in 2022-23, with $600,000 in remaining amortization, to triple the size of the Agricultural Clean Technology Program

$469.5 million over six years, with $500,000 in remaining amortization, starting in 2022-23, to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to expand the Agricultural Climate Solutions program’s On-Farm Climate Action Fund

$150 million for a resilient agricultural landscape program to support carbon sequestration, adaptation and address other environmental co-benefits, to be discussed with provinces and territories

$100 million over six years, starting in 2023, to the federal granting councils to support post-secondary research in developing technologies and crop varieties that will allow for net-zero emission agriculture

$780 million over five years, starting in 2022-23 to Environment and Climate Change Canada to expand the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund

$120 million to AgriRecovery in response to the BC floods

$30 million for a Trusted Employer program for foreign workers

Next steps from DFC

Regarding sustainable agriculture to fight climate change, DFC has already reached out to the government for additional clarity on programs such as the Agricultural Clean Technology Program, the On-Farm Climate Action Fund and the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund, and will be provided a technical briefing to clarify how they can best be utilized to support dairy farmers in their sustainability efforts.

Taking more action to eliminate plastic waste, budget 2022 proposes to provide $183.1 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to Environment and Climate Change Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Health Canada, Transport Canada, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, Statistics Canada and the National Research Council. This investment will reduce plastic waste and increase plastic circularity by developing and implementing regulatory measures and conducting scientific research to inform policymaking. DFC continues to work in collaboration with DPAC to assess any potential impacts of new regulations on plastics on dairy product packaging and on-farm plastics.

The announcement of $2.75 billion for the Universal Broadband Fund to improve high-speed internet access in rural and remote areas reflects the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA)’s advocacy on this issue and will help to address barriers to the introduction of new on-farm technologies.

Improving the temporary foreign workers program includes introducing a Trusted Employer Model that reduces red tape for repeat employers who meet the highest standards for working and living conditions, protections and wages in high-demand fields. Further investments over the next three years are positive developments reflective of CFA’s advocacy on this file which DFC has been engaged in. DFC will continue to support CFA as they seek additional information from government on next steps.

The nation’s power supply crisis and the prospect of rising prices are frustrating northern Victorian farmers.

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