Region 8 | Media Release

NFU Welcomes BC Flood Recovery Program

Merritt, BC Yesterday the federal and provincial governments announced the long-awaited recovery program to help BC farmers and ranchers rebuild after the catastrophic floods in November 2021. The $228 million Canada-BC Flood Recovery Program for Food Security is cost-shared between the provincial and federal governments under two frameworks – the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements and AgriRecovery.

“We are pleased to see that this program will give a higher level of coverage for farms with less than $2 million in annual revenues,” said Nicola Valley rancher, Julia Smith. “With the additional staff the BC government has hired to speed up
processing of farmers’ applications, we hope that smaller farmers will be able to gettheir applications submitted and approved quickly.”

The program covers a wide range of repairs, restoration and recovery needs.

“We are generally very happy with this program; however, we will be talking with officials about potential gaps that will need to be filled,” continued Smith. “For example, the prices for hay are now nearly double the covered amount, it appears restoration of hay lands may have been missed in the list covered perennial crops, and we will be looking for more information about what uninsured and uninsurable costs are included.”

“The impact of November’s atmospheric river is affected by the local topography, soils, and farm types and how they interacted with the torrential rains,” added Smith. “Here in the Nicola Valley, we are facing different risks and problems from the farms in the Sumas Prairie and those on Vancouver Island. We appreciate the flexibility of the recovery program, and hope it will respond well to the diverse geographic and financial circumstances BC farmers are dealing with.”
Programs like AgriRecovery are an important way Canadians help each other through difficult times.

“With climate change we can expect more intense storms more often. Well- designed recovery programs will help farmers get back on their feet so they can continue producing the food and fibre Canadians need,” said Laura Fash, NFU Boardmember for BC. “Our on-farm infrastructure will need to be robust enough to withstand future intense storms, and will need to be designed to work with nature, reduce our GHG emissions, and promote resilience as we adapt to the uncertainty that climate change will bring.”

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Video 1 —Ranch Flooding November – This video was shot on the day of the flood as the Nicola River was rising. You can see where the pastures used to be and compare it to
Video 2, filmed in February, where you can see that the Nicola River now runs there. Ranch Flood Damage February, filmed February 8, 2022, showing where the river has carved a new path taking out several acres of hay field and pasture.

**Translation supported by Canadian Heritage