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

Central zone down to 16 active COVID-19 cases

Alberta Health Services’ central zone is down to 16

‘We’re losing what makes the Parkland so distinctive,” conservation specialist says

The Lacombe district will lose two sites with provincial park status: JJ Collett and the Narrows

Central zone down to 19 active COVID-19 cases on Thursday

Provincially, 158 new COVID-19 cases were identified

Wolf Creek Public Schools receive $2.5 M for COVID costs

Funds will largely go towards PPE and additional cleaning, sanitizing

Central zone has 20 active cases of COVID-19

Province identified 143 new cases across Alberta on Wednesday

Alberta’s top health official says province is not in a second wave of COVID-19

Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Thursday that Alberta had identified 158 new cases in the province

8 charged, $260K in drugs and cash seized in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

Millet Agriplex to become a hub for indoor soccer

Wetaskiwin Soccer Club will be operating out of the Millet Agriplex this season.

Sylvan Lake woman says Town’s response time to concerns isn’t enough

Glenda Jackman says it took almost a month for the Town to act on her complaint about a playground

Ermineskin Kindergarten has a confirmed case of COVID-19

The school has shut down and Cohort 2 is in self-isolation

Hundreds die from opioid overdoses in Alberta as COVID-19 pandemic hit

Jason Luan said the province is not alone in seeing a rise in deaths,

Wetaskiwin/ Camrose RCMP conduct a joint forces initiative with Camrose Police Service

The multifaceted joint forces initiative with on Sept. 23, 2020 proved very successful.

Alberta politicians reject throne speech

Premier Kenney disapointed with lack of support for Alberta energy

Most Read