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October 27, 2017 3:57 pm

Agriculture Minister Hopes News of Recovery Support Will Ease Minds of Farmers and Ranchers

Thursday, August 17, 2017 @ 5:55 AM

Prince George, B.C. – Minister of Agriculture for B.C, Lana Popham  is hopeful  news the Federal and Provincial government  will  assist ranchers and farmers  recover from the  wildfire disaster will give them some “peace of mind”.

“I have been in  contact with many of the ranchers and farmers, and  although the strain on them is incredible, they are giving feedback that  they are happy with the  response right now” says Minister Popham.

She says about 500 ranchers and farmers have  accessed  support through the wildfire assistance  programs,  and expects   as many or more will be  looking for support  during the  recovery phase. She is not able to say  just how much money  will be made available,  but expects it will be in the “multi-million dollar level.”

She says she is amazed at the spirit of  the people impacted by  this unprecedented  disaster “They are still positive and not blameful, and I think that they understand, everybody, it’s all hands on deck.”

She says it’s too early to tell how the losses will  impact consumers as the supply of beef  and  produce is reduced,  “Although we  haven’t started to look at that, but of course, a tragedy  like this will affect, for example cattle for a couple of seasons for sure,  so that may be an effect of it.”

Popham  announced yesterday  that  she is working with her federal counterpart  on a plan that will see  the two senior levels of government share costs ( see previous story) on recovery for  the sector.  The Recovery plan  at this point is focused on assessing three areas:

  • Costs related to ensuring animal health and safety;
  • Feed, shelter and transportation costs;
  • Costs to re-establish perennial crop and pasture production damaged by fire

Minister Popham says the damage to  crop and pasture production is “enormous and will have long term effects if  we aren’t able to step in and assist.”


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