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Minister Bibeau and Minister Compton tour Prince Edward Island farms affected by Hurricane Fiona


CHARLOTTETOWN, PE, Oct. 13, 2022 /CNW/ - Hurricane Fiona caused major damage to properties, barns, storage facilities, as well as grain and horticultural crops on Prince Edward Island. Today, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, travelled to PEI to visit some of the areas that were most affected by the storm, hearing how extreme weather conditions in the province impacted farm operations, families and livelihoods.

Minister Bibeau and her colleague, PEI Agriculture and Land Minister, the Honourable Darlene Compton, witnessed Fiona's impacts on the agriculture sector as they listened to the stories of farmers and heard about the devastation many experienced in the province. Minister Bibeau spoke with local farmers who described the devastating storm and the heavy damage it caused to their farms. She praised the resilience of the Island's farm families who came together to help each other in Fiona's aftermath.

The governments of Canada and PEI continue to stand with farmers and communities who are feeling the impacts of Hurricane Fiona.

A suite of business risk management (BRM) programs is available to help producers. These programs help producers manage risks that threaten the viability of their farms, and provide protection against different types of income and production losses. Producers are encouraged to apply for interim payments under AgriStability to help them cope with immediate financial challenges. The governments of Canada and PEI increased the 2022 AgriStability interim benefit payment percentage from 50% to 75%, so producers can access a greater portion of their benefit early to meet urgent needs. PEI is also opening up late participation in AgriStability to farmers who did not register in 2022, so they can take advantage of this important income support.

Minister Bibeau and Minister Compton noted the progress made so far and the support provided by the Canadian Armed Forces personnel with the clean-up efforts, but recognized that this recovery will take time.

The Government of Canada will continue to respond to the immediate needs of people impacted by the storm and support the long-term recovery of the agricultural sector. The federal government, through the Government Operations Centre, continues to work with provincial partners to coordinate the federal response and ensure that the provinces have the resources they need to support the people of Atlantic Canada and Eastern Quebec.

Quotes

"My heart goes out to the people of Prince Edward Island, who were affected by Hurricane Fiona. Countless lives have been disrupted, and the impacts on mental health and on assets will continue to be felt in the weeks and months ahead. Hurricanes like Fiona and other extreme weather events remind us that farmers and ranchers are among the most impacted by climate change. The Government of Canada is there to help."
  -    The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

"When disasters like Hurricane Fiona strike, close and continued coordination between all orders of government is critical. We will continue to work with our provincial and municipal partners in Prince Edward Island to ensure that impacted Canadians, including those within the agricultural industry, are supported through this recovery and rebuilding period."
  -     The Honourable Bill Blair, President of the King's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness

"In a year where Islanders and farmers alike have experienced and dealt with unimaginable hardship, Hurricane Fiona swept through our Province causing significant damage to barns, livestock, crops and other agriculture infrastructure across the Island. We value the strong partnership that exists with our federal government and we appreciate their presence as we work together to assist Islanders in the recovery and support our beloved Agriculture industry."
   -     The Honourable Darlene Compton, Prince Edward Island's Deputy Premier and Minister of Agriculture and Land

"At this time, with so many of our producers suffering the impacts of Hurricane Fiona, we call upon Minister Bibeau and Minister Compton to deliver the much needed disaster relief dollars to Island farmers, ensuring our industry can continue to drive the Prince Edward Island economy forward. In addition, we ask them to continue investing in the resilience of our farms to ensure that storm events like Hurricane Fiona do not have the same devastating effects in the future."
  -     Ron Maynard, President, Prince Edward Island Federation of Agriculture

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