COVID-19

AAFC – YESP Announcement

May 26, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada is taking steps to ensure the resilience of the food supply chain and to provide support to keep the agriculture sector strong. The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, today announced an investment of up to $9.2 million to enhance the Youth Employment and Skills Program (YESP) and fund up to 700 new positions for youth in the agriculture industry.

This additional funding will help the agriculture industry attract Canadian youth, ages 15 to 30, to their organizations to assist with labour shortages brought on by the pandemic. This program aims to provide youth, and particularly youth facing barriers to employment, with job experience in agriculture that will provide career-related work experience.

The YESP will provide agriculture employers up to 50 per cent of the cost of hiring a Canadian youth up to $14,000. Indigenous applicants and those applicants hiring a youth facing barriers are eligible for funding of up to 80 per cent of their costs.

Eligible applicants include producers, agri-businesses, industry associations, provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous organizations and research facilities. Employers may apply for this funding retroactive to April 1, 2020, with projects to be completed by March 31, 2021.

Application forms are available through the Youth Employment and Skills Program, or to get more information, please contact aafc.yesp-pecj.aac@canada.ca, or call: 1-866-452-5558.

AgriStability Enrolment Deadline Extended

The initial fee deadline (unless otherwise shown on your Enrolment Notice) for the 2020 program year only has been extended from April 30 to July 3, 2020.

Additional information, including the application process and the AgriStability Benefit Estimator, can be found by clicking here.

Wellness Together Canada

For many Canadians, COVID-19 is having a major impact on their everyday lives, as they work to pay their bills, put food on the table, and take care of themselves and their families. That is why it is more important than ever that Canadians have access to the tools and resources they need to support their health and well-being.

The Prime Minister announced an investment of $240.5 million to develop, expand, and launch virtual care and mental health tools to support Canadians.

Wellness Together Canada is an online portal that provides Canadians with free resources, tools, and professional support services to help with wellness and resilience, as well as mental health and substance use. It will also support a growing family of digital products that includes the Canada COVID-19 app, which helps people track their symptoms, receive the latest updates, and access trusted resources.

NSDA – Laboratory Services Update

Samples will be accepted effective immediately with testing to begin the week of May 4, 2020.

Laboratory Services COVID-19 Notice

CPC News Release – Federal Announcement

CPC News Release – Federal Announcement

Service Canada Update – Temporary Foreign Workers

Special Compliance Inspections for Employers of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program during the COVID-19 Pandemic

AAFC Updates

AAFC Response – Statistics Canada Food-Processing Data

Information and Implications for the Agriculture and Agri-Food Sector

Pork Farmers Requesting Government Help to Continue Producing Food

April 23, 2020 OTTAWA – Canada’s pork producers are facing an unprecedented crisis as a result of COVID-19. The pandemic has put farm families and their livelihoods at risk and the potential for a sharp rise in food insecurity has never been greater. Producers across the country now expect to lose $30 to $50 a hog for every hog they sell in 2020, costing farmers across the country $675 million dollars. Farmers are being pushed to the brink.

COVID-19 has pushed the pork sector into free fall by disrupting supply chains and driving down prices. The market devastation caused by COVID-19 will only increase as the pandemic drags on.

“We are asking the government for an emergency payment of $20/hog so that pork producers can continue to pay bills, feed pigs and keep producing food for Canadian families” explains Rick Bergmann, Canadian Pork Council Chair and Manitoba producer. “Without it, family farms will be lost.  In turn we will continue to see disruption in the food supply chain, and increased food insecurity as supplies tighten and food becomes even more expensive,” adds Mr. Bergmann.

The full CPC Press Release can be found here.

Swine It Interview: Managing Pig Growth During Special Conditions

Click here to listen to an interview with Dr. John Patience, Swine It, with some practical nutritional tips (and cautions) related to dealing with potential delays in marketing of hogs.

With many packing plants closing or slowing down, Dr. John Patience discusses “managing pig growth during special conditions”.

Olymel Planning to Reopen Quebec Pork Plant on Tuesday

Real Agriculture
By: Kelvin Heppner
April 11, 2020

Olymel says it will be resuming operations at its hog slaughter and cutting plant at Yamachiche, Quebec on Tuesday, April 14 after closing for more than two weeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The plant, which normally processes 28 thousand pigs per week, has been closed since March 29, after nine employees tested positive for the virus.

“On behalf of Olymel management, I would like to thank all of the Yamachiche plant employees, who have been following lockdown instructions since March 29 and have agreed to come back to work on April 14 in these current difficult circumstances. To everyone at the Yamachiche plant and our other Olymel plants who has tested positive for COVID-19, we wish you a speedy recovery,” says Olymel president and CEO Réjean Nadeau, in a statement on April 11.

The full article can be found here.

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