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

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

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Alberta reports 1,731 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday

The province’s central zone has 992 active cases

Jeffery Kraft. Photo submitted
Family of Jeffery Kraft feels ‘robbed’ after one accused discharged

Family of victim responds to preliminary hearing in homicide case

Debra DeWaal was a Calgary Police officer for ten years before she began working as a consultant full-time in 1998. DeWaal gave a three-hour presentation on resiliency at the LMC in Lacombe on Nov. 24. (Alannah Page/Lacombe Express)
Lacombe Victims Services celebrated Victims and Survivors of Crime week a little later than normal

Debra DeWaal gave a presentation about mental toughness to a socially distanced audience on Nov. 24

The lights outside the Lacombe Memorial Centre have been lit since early November. (Alannah Page/Lacombe Express)
Lacombe’s Light Up the Night has officially begun

The light displays will be available all weekend

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

A person enters a building as snow falls in Ottawa, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. Ottawa has been successful in limiting the spread of COVID-19 during its second wave thanks to the city’s residents who have been wearing masks and staying home, said Ottawa’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
People to thank for Ottawa’s success with curbing COVID-19: health officer

The city’s chief medical officer said much of the credit goes to the people who live in Ottawa

The Red Deer Games Foundation has made changes to its grant program as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo supplied)
Red Deer Games Foundation adjusts grant program due to COVID-19 pandemic

The foundation postponed the spring 2020 grant program due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Shoppers line up in front of a shop on Montreal’s Saint-Catherine Street in search of Black Friday deals in Montreal, Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Black Friday shopping in a pandemic: COVID-19 closes some stores, sales move online

Eric Morris, head of retail at Google Canada, says e-commerce in Canada has doubled during the pandemic.

skip2
Rimbey Christian School students experience the joy of giving

Grades three and four students raised $2,000 for Somalian children

File Photo
Sylvan Lake Town Council asks for a mask bylaw to be brought forward for consideration

The bylaw would require face coverings in all indoor Town-owned and operated facilities

Most Read