Budget 2022 Comes Up Short for Canada’s Fruit and Vegetable Growers
Ottawa, April 8, 2022 – Yesterday afternoon, the federal government released its 2022 Budget. Given how extensive the budget document is, it is disappointing to see how little mention there is of support for Canada’s agricultural sector. As we know, food production is not only a key economic driver for our country - which creates jobs from coast to coast to coast – but is also integral to our health, our culture and our way of life.
The past two years have been exceptionally challenging for Canadian growers, from ongoing challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic to devastating extreme weather events, and crippling supply chain disruptions. Amidst all of this, the fruit and vegetable sector has remained resilient and has continued to provide safe and nutritious food to the table of Canadians across the country.
To continue maintaining Canada’s food security, Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada have called on the government to make significant investments to support the sector. Our budget 2022 recommendations can be viewed here. We are committed to continuing to push for these critical supports and investments in our sector.
As we continue our advocacy, Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada look forward to working with the government on the measures announced in yesterday’s budget.
Highlights of those measures are:
- Budget 2022 proposes to provide a total of $16 million over two years, on a cash basis, starting in 2022-23 to the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency through the Jobs and Growth Fund to support long-term investments and assist in stabilizing the Prince Edward Island potato sector and supply chain.
- Budget 2022 also proposes to provide $12 million over two years, starting in 2022-23, for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to accelerate the investigation into the latest detection of potato wart to help prevent its spread and to allow for full trade to resume with the United States as soon as possible.
Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Budget 2022 proposes several measures to increase protections for workers, to reduce administrative burdens for trusted repeat employers, and to ensure employers can quickly bring in workers to fill short-term labour market gaps. These include:
- $29.3 million over three years to introduce a Trusted Employer Model that reduces red tape for repeat employers who meet the highest standards for working and living conditions, protections, and wages in high-demand fields. Further details on this program will be announced in the coming year.
- $48.2 million over three years, with $2.8 million in remaining amortization, to implement a new foreign labour program for agriculture and fish processing, tailored to the unique needs of these employers and workers. The program will be regularly reviewed by the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion for its impact on local labour markets to maximize the employment of Canadians and permanent residents and to ensure the program is not negatively impacting wages for Canadians and permanent residents.
- $64.6 million over three years to increase capacity to process employer applications within established service standards.
- $14.6 million in 2022-23, with $3 million in remaining amortization, to make improvements to the quality of employer inspections and hold employers accountable for the treatment of workers.
- Budget 2022 proposes to provide $385.7 million over five years, and $86.5 million ongoing, for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency, and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to facilitate the timely and efficient entry of a growing number of visitors, workers, and students.
Energy, Environment and Climate Change
- Budget 2022 proposes to provide a further $329.4 million over six years, starting in 2022-23, with $0.6 million in remaining amortization, to triple the size of the Agricultural Clean Technology Program.
- Budget 2022 proposes to provide $469.5 million over six years, with $0.5 million in remaining amortization, starting in 2022-23, to Agriculture and Agri- Food Canada to expand the Agricultural Climate Solutions program’s On-Farm Climate Action Fund.
- Budget 2022 proposes $150 million for a resilient agricultural landscape program to support carbon sequestration, adaptation, and address other environmental co-benefits, to be discussed with provinces and territories.
- Budget 2022 proposes to provide $100 million over six years, starting in 2022-23, to the federal granting councils to support post-secondary research in developing technologies and crop varieties that will allow for net-zero emission agriculture
- Budget 2022 proposes to provide up to $30 million over two years, starting in 2022-23, to Environment and Climate Change Canada to administer direct payments to support emission-intensive, trade-exposed small and medium- sized enterprises in those jurisdictions.
Supply Chain Disruptions
- The government will act to improve business investment in innovation and technology and help Canadian businesses to grow and strengthen Canada’s critical supply chains, and its ability to produce strategic commodities.
- We need to make our economy more resilient by strengthening our supply chains, ensuring our businesses can get their goods to market, and making sure Canadians are able to buy the products they need from around the world.
- Budget 2022 proposes $450 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to support supply chain projects through the National Trade Corridors Fund, which will help ease the movement of goods across Canada’s transportation networks.
- Budget 2022 also proposes $16.9 million over five years, starting in 2022-23, to continue making Canada’s supply chains more competitive by cutting needless red tape, including working to ensure that regulations across various modes of cargo transportation (e.g., ship, rail) work effectively together.
- Over the next year, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development will work with provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous partners, and stakeholders to develop a National School Food Policy and to explore how more Canadian children can receive nutritious food at school.
For more information, contact:
Robyn McKee Manager,
Policy, Research and Development Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada firstname.lastname@example.org