A historic funding package has seen minimal disbursements to date, prompting the province to extend the deadline for applications.
Producers impacted by catastrophic flooding and landslides following last November’s atmospheric river events will have until August 31 to file claims with the Canada-BC Flood Recovery Program for Food Security.
“We’ve had over 400 applications so far and over $36 million dollars has gone out the door to farmers with more on the way,” says the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food, which is administering the joint federal-provincial program. “Staff continue to assist farmers with their applications and staff are also going out to farms to help assess damage with over 350 field assessments completed.”
The numbers reflect the concerns several farmers have voiced that funding has been slow to reach them.
The recovery package was announced in February, with $228 million announced by the federal and provincial agriculture ministers. The original application deadline was June 1.
The largest recovery package of its kind, the program combined AgriRecovery and Disaster Financial Assistance funding to address $285 million in losses not otherwise eligible for coverage through other government programs, private insurers, industry associations and charitable organizations such as Red Cross.
The province says claims will continue to be processed after the deadline and farmers can continue submitting documents outlining their expenses after that date.