Below is an overview of some financial relief programs and considerations. As new information is received, this space will be updated. 

Commercial Insurance considerations

  1. It is critical that each producer determine what is and is not covered by their insurance. It may be helpful to complete and have your agent sign the attached Emergency Management BC (EMBC) form. This form will be one of the starting points to gain access to funding for homeowner losses from the Disaster Financial Assistance Program (more on this below).
  2. In cases where the business has business loss insurance, this will be a far superior source of coverage than any of the government programs.
  3. If you have not yet contacted your insurance agent do so ASAP. They will guide you through the necessary steps to making a claim, and what they require all of the other agencies will also require.
  4. Below is a list from Co-operators that can help you prepare for an insurance claim:
  • Take photos of damaged areas before you start your mitigation efforts like cleaning or repairs
  • Make list of items damaged, discarded
  • Keep track of the amount of time you spend cleaning and making repairs
  • Keep track of all expenses related to the flood recovery

Disaster Financial Assistance Program

This government program will provide an 80% compensation on eligible expenses exceeding $1,000 up to a maximum of $300,000. Click here for the government website that describes what an eligible farm operation expense would be per the Emergency Program Act.

Currently this program is unworkable for most of agriculture because of the Provincial constraints imposed on it. Businesses that are incorporated and gross more than $1M in sales are disqualified. Businesses where a shareholder or partner earn greater than 50% of their income off-farm are disqualified. BC Dairy will be seeking information on how dairy producers who may not fit the current criteria can access the program.

Agri-Recovery

This program is meant to reimburse 70% of extraordinary expenditures, unrecoverable from any of the above programs available to producers. However, it will not cover inventory or income loss, as these are meant to be covered under the Agi-Stability program. 

This program will likely cover land/ditch remediation but it would be better to have this covered by the municipality as they do not fall under the same DFA program constraints as mentioned above. If Agri-Recovery is used, only 70% of the cost would be reimbursable. This will be a point of discussion with the City and Province.

The BC and federal government have begun evaluating the scope of an Agri-Recovery based response needed to assist livestock producers with recovery costs which are beyond the supports provided by existing government disaster financial assistance, risk management programs and private insurance. The BC Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries is in the process of consulting the livestock industry to identify what costs they expect to have to incur to return to production after the flood water dissipates.

Agri-Stability

This program is meant to cover margin loss of producers. For supply managed commodities there must be a greater than 30% decline in margin. This is quite a complicated program – will probably not be applicable for most supply managed commodities except for Layers, Broiler Breeder, and Dairy operations that are out of production for prolonged periods.

For those who do qualify, the province has implemented Late Participation in the federal-provincial AgriStability program for 2021. Late participation means B.C. farmers that are not currently enrolled for the 2021 program year can now apply to enrol up until Dec 31, 2022. For more details or how to enrol visit: Agriculture income protection (AgriStability)  or call 1-877-343-2767 or Email AgriStability@gov.bc.ca.

Mortgage deferrals

Some banks are offering mortgage deferral plans for their customers within flood zones. Producers are encouraged to talk to their bank for details.

Business Disaster recovery planning 

What this program offers: up to $5,000 in business planning services and coaching for individuals from a qualified business consultant, to develop an immediate and long-term recovery plan.

Who is eligible: Business entities including sole proprietors, partnerships, corporations, or other associations of persons (including cooperatives) who meet the following eligibility criteria for Primary Agricultural Producers:

  • You have been impacted by an external event such a traumatic event that interrupts the normal production or flow of operations and puts the stability of the business at risk. Examples include fire, flood, drought, tornado, disease outbreak, COVID-19, death, or illness.
  • Producing fresh food, or agricultural products which are 100% grown or raised in B.C.
  • You reported total annual gross revenues greater than $30,000/year in the previous year to Canada Revenue Agency.
  • All proprietors, partners, members, or shareholders must be residents of British Columbia.