Story by Dan Ferguson of the Langley Advance Times
Langley East MLA Megan Dykeman is encouraging Langley-area farms hit by November’s heavy flooding to apply for a just-announced $228 million federal-provincial recovery fund.
“We do forget that there are other farms that were hit [outside Abbotsford and the Sumas Prairie],” Dykeman told the Langley Advance Times, adding her office can assist with applications.
Dykeman added she was “really, really, really grateful,” at the news.
On Monday, Feb. 7, federal minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau, and B.C.’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Lana Popham, announced the Canada-B.C. Flood Recovery for Food Security Program.
It aims to help farmers with “extraordinary expenses from uninsurable damages,” including cleanup, repair and restoration of land, barns and animal shelters, water and waste systems; repair of on-farm structures such as livestock containment fences, as well as animal welfare costs like replacement feed, livestock transportation, veterinary care and mortality disposal.
“The B.C. agricultural community has pulled together and demonstrated its strength and determination in the face of devastating floods,” said Bibeau.
“We are here to help them rebuild so they can quickly get back to doing what they do best: producing high-quality food for Canadians.”
Popham called the November flooding “the most impactful agricultural disaster ever in our province, resulting in profound losses for many B.C. farmers and food producers, and we’re responding with a program that delivers the greatest amount of support of its kind in B.C.’s history.”
More than 1,100 farms, 15,000 hectares and 2.5 million livestock were affected by the flooding.”
Farmers who have already done work are being advised to keep their receipts, track the hours involved, and take pictures documenting the damage and repairs to support their application.
Program criteria and application forms are available online at gov.bc.ca/agrifloodrecovery
One-on-one assistance in English and Punjabi is available to farmers requiring assistance completing the applications through email@example.com or by calling 1-888-332-3352.