NFU Brief to Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) on Crop Insurance in Alberta

While the need for some form of crop insurance had been apparent since agricultural settlement began in western Canada, it was not until 1939 that the Prairie Farm Assistance Act was passed in the House of Commons. The Act, introduced by Hon. J.G. Gardiner, acknowledged the federal government‟s partial responsibility for opening up areas of the southern prairies, which were known to be susceptible to prolonged periods of drought, to cultivation. The legislation was also intended to save the federal Treasury a significant sum by providing a “less expensive alternative to the continuation of a form of price insurance on wheat; and secondly, it was regarded as a suitable alternative for outright relief payments which the federal government felt it would be obliged to pay in the absence of such a measure.” The original PFAA was “the program closest to all-risk crop insurance available to prairie producers”.

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