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$1 Billion for Farmers over Five Years: Harper


May 1, 2009
By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

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May 1, 2009, Edgely, Sask. – Prime Minister Harper announced today that farmers can "count on Canada."  The federal government is providing expanded access to credit to those who are finding it difficult to obtain loans due to the tightening of global credit markets.

The Harper Government will bring forward new legislation to guarantee an estimated $1 billion in loans over the next five years to Canadian farm families and cooperatives, most of which will go to farmers and cooperatives that were previously ineligible.
 
The Prime Minister announced his intent to introduce legislation that will expand the scope of the Farm Improvement and Marketing Cooperative Loans Act, thereby delivering on a key component of Canada’s Economic Action Plan.
 
· The proposed changes contained in Canada’s Economic Action Plan include increasing the amount of guaranteed credit available to farmers.  
 
·  The plan also calls for expanding the criteria for the program so that new farmers, who are excluded from receiving loans under the existing Act, will also be able to access this credit.
 
·  The eligibility criteria for agricultural co-operatives will also be expanded so that more co-ops can also receive funding.
 
·  Finally, Canada’s Economic Action Plan supports intergenerational farm transfers so that young farmers can more easily take over the family farm.
 
The Prime Minister said that the Canadian government will always respect the hard work of Canadian farmers and stand with them no matter what challenges the global economy may throw our way, and added that when credit is expanded to farmers, it strengthens the rural economy today and helps to ensure that farming will remain a viable career choice for generations to come.