BC’s farmers and ranchers are already feeling the impacts of climate change, and are leading the province in efforts to adapt. Over the next few weeks the provincial government is seeking input into a new climate action plan, and we need your help to ensure agriculture is on the agenda.
The Climate Leadership Plan is being positioned as the plan to move towards the long-term goal of reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions. It is critical that the importance of agricultural adaptation to climate change is recognized, along with the work our industry has already been doing.
Climate action for agriculture.
The BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative (CAI) was initiated by the BC Agriculture Council in 2008, and under direction of an industry-led committee, has brought together industry and local and provincial governments to proactively plan for and address climate impact priorities for our sector.
Since 2012, the Initiative has completed a province-wide risk and opportunity assessment to improve understanding of how climate change will impact the sector, and has collaboratively developed adaptation strategies for five agricultural regions across the province. Completed plans identify priority regional level impacts and actions for agricultural adaptation. Implementation of these plans is well underway - 13 locally led projects have been completed and 12 more are underway.
CAI has also developed, and is delivering, the Farm Adaptation Innovator Program which is supporting 12 new farm-level adaptation projects. These projects demonstrate farm practices and technologies that reduce weather related risks and share information to support farm-level adaptation.
For more information about the CAI, visit www.bcagclimateaction.ca.
The BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative is funded by Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.
You can help.
A discussion paper available online sets the framework for input on the principles and goals of the plan, as well as four priority areas – how we live, travel, work and what we value. The Climate Leadership plan discussion paper and public input survey are available at www.engage.gov.bc.ca/climateleadership until 4pm, August 17, 2015.
The BC Agriculture Council will be preparing a submission to the Climate Leadership Team, and is encouraging all members to participate through one or all of the following channels:
1. Submit your comments or feedback to the BCAC.
2. Review the discussion document and complete the online public survey.
3. Work with your industry association or interest group to prepare a submission to detail your concerns and express support for adaptation work already underway.
We want them to know:
• Climate change is already impacting agriculture – this summer is a good example of the hot, dry conditions that are expected to become more common in BC.
• The highest priority for agriculture is having the tools, resources and supports necessary to adapt to changing and challenging conditions.
• BC is already a leader in agricultural adaptation through the BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative, and support for this work needs to continue.
We want the Climate Leadership Plan to include:
• Greater investment in planning and infrastructure to support agricultural adaptation, including:
◦ Planning and infrastructure investments to ensure sufficient and sustainable water supply for agricultural production.
◦ Planning and infrastructure investments to reduce vulnerability to impacts of extreme events such as flooding and wildfire.
◦ Incentives to assist producers with farm-level adaptation.
• Provincial commitment to build on and integrate with the BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative and its partners in local government and industry.
• Development of government policy, regulation and development decisions will consider impacts to agriculture’s ability to adapt to climate change impacts on complex issues, including but not limited to agricultural dams and other forms of water storage, as well as drainage and water management.
On July 28th, KPU’s Institute for Sustainable Food Systems is hosting former ALC Chair, Mr. Richard Bullock, for a free public lecture on the future of agriculture in BC. The lecture will take place at our Richmond campus. In addition to Mr. Bullock’s lecture, the evening’s agenda includes an introduction by Delta Farmers' Institute President Mr. David Ryall, and an opportunity for audience Q&A with Mr. Bullock. Event registration, and more information, can be found at www.rbonagriculture.eventbrite.ca.
Transport Canada has amended the Canadian Aviation Security Regulations, 2012 to expand supply chain security and reduce potential screening bottlenecks at Canadian airports. These regulatory changes, now published in Canada Gazette, Part II, will come into effect on October 17, 2016.
In fall 2015, existing Air Cargo Security Program participants and other supply chain members will be able to apply to participate in the Air Cargo Security Program under new participant categories. Those that accept, store, transport or screen air cargo will have to decide which participant category best reflects their business and cargo activity. The attached information products will assist stakeholders in making this determination.
These regulatory changes will allow:
• Shippers / originators of cargo to screen their own cargo by way of packing to make it secure, avoiding potential security delays and additional screening fees for air cargo; and
• Other cargo operators, such as ground transportation companies and warehousing facilities, to accept, store and/or transport cargo that has been screened and made secure by an authorized participant in the Air Cargo Security Program.
These changes will affect:
• Businesses that ship their goods by air;
• Businesses that handle or want to handle secure air cargo (e.g., trucking companies, warehouse operators).
Transport Canada encourages supply chain members, including existing Program participants, wishing to participate in the Air Cargo Security Program under one of the new participant categories to contact our Air Cargo Security Support Centre in fall 2015 to start the application process. Contact the Air Cargo Security Support Centre toll-free at 1-866-375-7342 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ron Cannan and Dan Albas have worked to find a solution to the Social Insurance Number problem for SAWP workers to obtain a SIN number. A new approach was required, following a change from the previous automatic assignment of a SIN number when the worker enters Canada.
The current issue resulted from a system change at CBSA. In previous years at the port of entry, the Canadian Border Services Agency (typically Vancouver Airport) had the ability to print multiple copies of some forms, which allowed workers to use an extra copy of the form to obtain a SIN at the time of entry. A change in computer/security systems was implemented and resulted in a change (no multiple copies) that prevented SAWP workers from obtaining their SIN at the port of entry.
Ron Cannan and Dan Albas have resolved the issue for this year, and are working on a longer term solution too. For this year, if growers who do not have convenient access to a local Service Canada office (Penticton and Kelowna), Service Canada will send their staff to the farm location to complete the paperwork to obtain a SIN number for SAWP workers.
1. Service Canada has committed to visit the farms to sign up SAWP workers for their SIN numbers, for those farms that cannot conveniently access a local Service Canada office.
2. Send your MP’s office the farm locations including the worksite’s address/location, contact telephone number and the number of workers involved issue and the MP will forward your information and request to Service Canada.
3. Growers may still choose to take the workers to the local Service Canada office to obtain SIN numbers for SAWP workers, if that is convenient.
To submit the request for Service Canada to contact you regarding your farm, please forward your email to your appropriate Member of Parliament below;
Ron Cannan, M.P. | Kelowna Lake Country | Email : email@example.com
Dan Albas, M.P. | Okanagan Coquihala | Email: Dan.firstname.lastname@example.org
Alex Atamanenko, M.P. | Southern Interior |Email: Alex.Atamanenko@parl.gc.ca
The Advance Payments Program (APP) of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada provides producers with cash advances on eligible commodities. These advances provide producers with improved cash flow, therefore increasing the flexibility producers have in marketing their products. Producers can access up to $400,000 in advances, of which the first $100,000 is interest-free and the remaining $300,000 is interest-bearing. The amount of the advance reflects up to 50% of the expected market value of the agricultural product, and must be repaid upon sale of the commodity or at the end of the production period, whichever comes first.
While approximately 25,000 farmers across Canada participate in the Advance Payment Program, there are a significant number of farmers that have not participated in the program and have not obtained an interest-free loan. The Advance Payment Program is currently being evaluated by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and one evaluation goal is to find out why more Canadian farmers do not participate in the APP. Consequently, if you have not received an APP interest-free loan, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada would like to know why as well as what changes to APP would increase participation by producers. Your feedback is very important to ensure that the APP benefits as many producers as possible. To provide your feedback, you can either:
Happy World Manure Day, a day to honour the stuff we call liquid gold.
No, it’s not World Manure Day, but here is a new Spreading Advisory for the BC South Coast. Expect it to last for most of the summer unless weather conditions change unexpectedly.
Find the Advisories and monthly Updates here: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/topic.page?id=E69FB642584F4AD7A472D75B9FE8F3FE
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