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Canada issues update on COVID-19 assistance available to farmers

Minister Bibeau clarifies the financial supports available to Canada's farmers after CEBA expansion.

26 May 2020, at 9:19am

The Canadian Emergency Business Account has potential to provide up to $670 million directly to farmers from the forgivable portion of Canadian Emergency Business Account interest-free loans.

It is estimated that the expanded eligibility to the CEBA announced on 19 May more than doubled the amount of farmers eligible for the CEBA benefits.

The changes allow an estimated additional 36,566 farms nation-wide to access the CEBA, for a total of over 67,000 eligible farms across Canada. This equates to up to $2.68 billion in interest-free loans to Canadian farmers, 25 percent of which is forgivable. Each farmer can access up to $40,000 in interest-free loans, which, if paid off by the end of 2022, entitles the farmer up to $10,000 of that amount to be forgiven.

Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food said:

“The announced expansion of the eligibility to the Canada Emergency Business Account is a big deal for farmers across the country.

"We heard from many farmers that the Canada Emergency Business Account did not work for them, because many did not meet the payroll criteria. We listened to their concerns, and changed the eligibility to ensure a total of 67,000 farm operations without payroll, 36,500 more, can now access the program.

"In dealing with the impacts of COVID-19, our Government has consistently said that we are prioritising speed, and we continue to fill the gaps.

"For those farmers who are still unable to access CEBA, they can turn towards the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund.

"Farmers can be assured that we have their back, and we are continuing to roll-out supports for our agriculture sector.”