Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and and MP Terry Duguid attend a Liberal fundraising event at the Hotel Fort Garry,Tuesday, September 11, 2018. The federal government is rolling out $18 million in funding they say will help more than 40 food-related businesses hoping to grow despite the pressure created by the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Trevor Hagan

Liberals announce $18 million in funding for small food producers

Funds are going everywhere from an Alberta company focusing on plant-based proteins to distilleries in Quebec

The federal government is rolling out $18 million in support for projects they say will help strengthen Canada’s food supply chain.

The funds are going everywhere from an Alberta company focusing on plant-based proteins to distilleries in Quebec seeking to upgrade their equipment.

Some money is also being directed to small towns in Northern Ontario to hire staff and interns to help on agriculture-related work.

Terry Duguid, a Winnipeg MP and parliamentary secretary for Western Economic Diversification Canada, says the COVID-19 pandemic has created uncertainty for many food-related businesses.

He says the government intends the funds to help them weather that and be well-positioned for future business.

The Liberals have been under sustained pressure from farmers and food producers to do more to address the issues the COVID-19 pandemic has created for the sector.

Among other things, there have been outbreaks of the illness among farm workers and in processing plants, and sharp declines for certain products due to the near shutdown of the entire hospitality industry leading to an oversupply of food with no markets.

While the federal government initially responded with a $252 million bailout package, they were criticized for including in that some previously announced money.

The funds being announced today comes from the budgets of the various federal economic development agencies, which focus on supporting hyper-local initiatives.

In some cases, the funding represents deals that were in the works well before the pandemic, or is being given to the companies in the form of repayable loans.

Duguid said while some of the money may have been earmarked pre-pandemic, it doesn’t discount the benefit it will bring to businesses.

“This is about today, this is about COVID, this is about a difficult time but it is also about the future,” he said.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

federal government

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. snap election: What we know about candidates running in the Nechako Lakes riding

Premier Horgan called for a snap election Monday, Sept. 21.

Letter: Assume COVID is in your community; Act accordingly

Chief of Staff at St. John Hospital writes letter to residents of the Omineca region

Vanderhoof’s Anonymous Art Show aims to go Canada-wide next year

The Anonymous Art Show in it’s second year is gaining popularity across… Continue reading

New book about Vanderhoof is a compliment to the people in the region, says author

‘Go North Young Man, Go North!’ is available at stores in the District

SD91 develops course to explore student identity and diversity

School District 91 has developed a course for grade 8 students that… Continue reading

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

181 days gone: Family continues to look for man last seen in RCMP custody 6 months ago

Brandon Sakebow’s last known location was leaving Mission RCMP cell, police say; family has doubts

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

Most Read