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Hog farming funds "not new money"

27 March 2007

NOVA SCOTIA - Nova Scotia’s newly-projected financial framework has no surprises and little new assistance for the province’s cash-starved farmers, say many in the industry.

I Increased user fees announced in the provincial budget, especially on vehicles, will take more money out of farmers’ pockets than cash that’s coming to help with debt reduction, says Lori Canavan-Reid of Maple Lane Farms in Greenhill, Hants County.

"It’s a stand-pat budget, pretty much what we expected," Fraser Hunter, president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture, said in an interview Monday.

The provincial budget contains a few items for farmers, but the bulk of the assistance — $6.2 million in debt reduction for hog farmers — was announced last year and was no surprise.

The budget simply made the money official, said Mr. Hunter, a sheep and dairy farmer in Pictou and Antigonish counties.

The government promised last December to write off the $6.2 million hog farmers owed the province.

"It’s not new money," said Mr. Hunter. "It’s basically what we were expecting."

What was new was $500,000 in the budget for transition funding, which Mr. Hunter said he believed was for interest on the debt.

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Source: TheCheonicleHerald

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