NDP calls for 'urgent action' for farmers while the Sask. Party says it's already providing it
In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Scott Moe, Saskatchewan's NDP opposition is calling for "urgent action" to help farmers facing a potentially catastrophic growing season due to drough conditions.
"In meeting with producers, we have heard major concerns about crop yields and access to feed and water for livestock," the NDP letter said.
"Failure to act now risks farm and ranch losses, deep financial and emotional impacts for families, and major negative repercussions for the Saskatchewan economy.
In the letter, NDP leader Ryan Meili said the current conditions remind him of the "drought and insect problems" witnessed growing up on a farm in the 1980s.
"We need a serious plan to get producers and ranchers through this drought year and a long-term plan to ensure the success of the agriculture sector on which we all rely," Meili said.
In response agriculture minister David Marit thanked the NDP for its letter and pointed to steps the Sask. party government has taken including changes to Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation rules to allow low yielding crops to be cut immediately and a temporary increase to the maximum funding a livestock producer can receive under the Farm and Ranch Water Infrastructure Program.
"I can assure you I have heard these concerns loud and clear from the farmers and ranchers I speak with every day," Marit said.
"We are also working closely with our federal and provincial counterparts to explore additional options to support producers," Marit said.
The NDP's letter came the same day the federal government announced the early designation of the Livestock Tax Deferral provision for prescribed drought regions of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.
It's a move that Marit said the Government of Saskatchewan welcomes.