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Canada's 2021 budget to include climate action for the ag sector

26 April 2021

Budget 2021 is the Government of Canada's plan to finish the fight against COVID-19 and ensure Canada remains on a robust economic footing - and climate-friendly agriculture is a key strategy.

The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, and the Honourable Jim Carr, Special Representative for the Prairies, have joined young farmers from Manitoba and Saskatchewan to discuss regenerative agricultural practices and on-farm climate action investments from Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience.

Farmers are major players in Canada's fight against climate change. The agricultural sector has the potential to scale up climate solutions, many of which are already underway across the country. Building on Canada's climate action programs for farmers–including the $185 million Agricultural Climate Solutions program, and the $165 million Agricultural Clean Technology Program–a new investment of $200 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, will help launch immediate, on-farm climate action under the Agricultural Climate Solutions program. This will target projects accelerating emission reductions by improving nitrogen management, increasing adoption of cover cropping, and normalizing rotational grazing.

"Budget 2021 presents a historic plan to get us through COVID-19 to better times, by putting people first, creating jobs and bridging businesses to a future positioned for long-term growth," Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said. "We are giving farmers the support to implement the climate-smart agriculture practices that will ensure the young farmers of today can continue farming sustainably for decades to come."

These investments will help Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector meet its emissions targets and capture new opportunities in the green economy.

Budget 2021 is also about creating more jobs and prosperity for Canadians in the days – and decades – to come. It is an historic investment to address the specific wounds of the COVID-19 recession, put people first, create jobs, grow the middle class, set businesses on a track for long-term growth, and ensure that Canada's future – and the futures of Canadian farmers, their families and their communities – will be healthier, more equitable, greener, and more prosperous.

"Investing in climate-smart agricultural practices continues to help Canada's farmers, like those in the Prairies, to build on their success while protecting and preserving our natural resources. Budget 2021 will allow farmers to compete and innovate while farming their land today and into the future. Now more than ever, the spirit of resilience, ingenuity and innovation will help shape Canada's future," said Jim Carr, Special Representative for the Prairies

Background

Budget 2021 includes $101.4 billion over three years in proposed investments as part of the Government of Canada's growth plan that will create good jobs and support a resilient and inclusive recovery. Key measures include:

  • Allocating $60 million over the next two years, from the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund, to target the protection of existing wetlands and trees on farms;
  • Returning a portion of the proceeds from the price on pollution directly to farmers in backstop jurisdictions (currently Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario), beginning in 2021-22. It is estimated farmers would receive $100 million in the first year;
  • Ensuring the recently expanded $165.5 million Agricultural Clean Technology program will prioritize $50 million for the purchase of more efficient grain dryers for farmers across Canada;
  • Allocating $10 million over the next two years, from the Agricultural Clean Technology program, toward powering farms with clean energy and moving off diesel;
  • Investing $17.6 billion in a green recovery to help Canada to reach its target to conserve 25 per cent of Canada's lands and oceans by 2025, exceed its Paris climate targets and reduce emissions by 36 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030, and move forward on a path to reach net-zero emission by 2050.


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