Provincial and Federal COVID-19 Financial Supports for Farmers
This infosheet provides a summary of information and links to provincial and federal financial support information. The information is current as of the publication date but subject to frequent changes. Always check the program website for the most up-to-date information. This summary is current as of June 2, 2021.
Provincial Supports For Farmers
Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program (Deadline November 30, 2021)
The Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program is now open. The $36.6 million program, which includes $10 million funding in 2021-2022, helps more farmers, primary food processors and on-farm services providers purchase personal protective equipment, enhance cleaning and disinfection and redesign workstations to better protect workers. The program will also help farmers who experience unexpected costs as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak among on-farm employees.
- Farms and agri-food businesses that hire three or more employees will be eligible for funding.
- Additional businesses and workers are eligible including primary processors, chicken catchers, corn detasselers, transporters, hatcheries.
The intake is open from April 22, 2021, and applications are being accepted until the funding has been fully distributed or until November 30, 2021.
Agri-tech Innovation Program (Early Adopters - Deadline June 21, 2021)
The Agri-tech Innovation Program is a new $22-million cost-share program that will help farming operations and processor businesses adopt innovative and new technologies. This intake will support implementation of sector-specific, unique and innovative technologies in the workplace to enhance the protection of workers against COVID-19, lead to increased business efficiencies and productivity, and help build the sector's resilience. The intake for the Early Adopters category opened on May 17, 2021 and closes June 21, 2021.
Further details on the Innovators category will be coming soon.
Ontario Improving Farm Safety for Agri-Food Workers
The Government of Ontario is providing up to $118,500 to develop specialized COVID-19 resources to better protect the health and safety of temporary foreign workers and others employed in the agri-food sector. Informed by health, cultural and support organizations, these new resources, entitled the "Cultural Resources Library," will be designed by the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers' Association in a variety of languages and formats and will be distributed to farms, greenhouses and food processing operations across Ontario.
Provincial Antigen Screening Program (Rapid Testing)
The Government of Ontario is encouraging the use of rapid antigen point-of-care testing as an enhanced screening tool for asymptomatic employees. This will allow employers to add an additional safety measure to their workplaces, to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Ontario's rapid antigen point-of-care tests are available for agri-food businesses, including primary agricultural production.
Agri-food employers who are interested in participating can find more information and apply for free rapid test kits at:
COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit (WIPB)
Under the COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit (WIPB), employers can apply to get reimbursed for up to 3 days pay (max $200/day) paid to employees on paid infectious disease emergency leave from April 19 to September 25, 2021. The employer reimbursement program launched on May 27, 2021 is being administered by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).
For more general information on eligibility criteria, how to apply and program rules, please visit Ontario.ca/COVIDworkerbenefit or call the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit Information Centre 1-888-999-2248 (TTY: 1-866-567-8893).
Federal and Provincial Supports for Farmers
Coverage for 2021 On-Farm Labour Disruptions
At the end of 2020, the governments of Canada and Ontario announced an extension to coverage for production loss due to on-farm labour disruptions caused by COVID-19. This coverage has been extended to cover the 2021 Production Insurance program year. This coverage will work the same as it did in 2020, but coverage in 2021 will be extended to bee health, apple and tender fruit trees, and grapevines. Agricorp will automatically add the new coverage to customer policies for 2021.
Workplace Safety and Prevention Services Funding
The governments of Canada and Ontario are partnering with the Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS), to provide agri-food businesses, organizations and associations with access to educational resources, tools, and consultation services, to help the sector meet COVID-19 health and safety requirements.
Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, WSPS will develop and introduce industry specific COVID-19 resources for farm businesses and provincially licensed meat plants.
There are two main components. First, WSPS will develop a toolkit to inform and guide approaches and measures to effectively manage the risks of COVID-19 in these operations. The toolkit will include pandemic response and recovery resources. Second, Ontario farmers, farm organizations/association and provincially licensed meat processors will have access to consulting services, in-person or virtually, to meet COVID-19 occupational health and safety requirements and guidelines. Further details can be found at: Workplace Safety and Prevention Services Funding.
Funding to Support Efforts that Match Employers with Jobseekers
Through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the federal and provincial governments are providing support to help people connect with job opportunities in the sector quickly. This program is helping primary agriculture, food processing companies and grocery retail to recruit and train workers who are important to keeping the essential food supply chain functioning.
Federal Supports for Farmers
Canada Emergency Business Account (Deadline June 30, 2021)
The new Canada Emergency Business Account will provide interest-free loans of up to $60,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits, to help cover their operating costs during a period where their revenues have been temporarily reduced.
To qualify, these organizations will need to demonstrate they paid between $20,000 to $1 million in total payroll in 2019 or can demonstrate paying between $40,000 to $1.5 million in non-deferrable expenses. Eligible businesses should reach out to their financial institution/bank to begin the process.
Relief Measures for Indigenous Businesses
The Government of Canada will provide up to $306.8 million in interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis businesses.
This measure is part of the Government of Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. Financial support will be provided through Aboriginal Financial Institutions and administered by the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association, as well as the Métis Capital Corporations in partnership with Indigenous Services Canada.
Up to $40,000 will be available to small and medium-sized Indigenous businesses:
- an interest-free loan up to $30,000
- a non-repayable contribution up to $10,000
Contact your Aboriginal Financial Institution to apply for support.
If your business has an established relationship with a major bank, you may choose to get support from the Canada Emergency Business Account instead.
Lending Capacity Increased for Farm Credit Canada (FCC)
FCC has received an additional $5 billion in lending capacity to producers, agribusinesses, and food processors. This will offer increased flexibility to farmers who face cashflow issues and to processors who are impacted by lost sales, helping them remain financially strong during this difficult time.
FCC has announced a COVID-19 support program, including access to an additional line of credit up to $500,000.
Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program (Program deadline extended until August 31, 2021)
The Mandatory Isolation Support for Temporary Foreign Workers Program (MISTFWP) is a $142-million program to help with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on food supply in Canada by assisting the farming, fish harvesting, and food production and processing sectors. The program will assist Canadian employers with some of the incremental costs associated with the mandatory 14-day isolation period as well as costs associated with the 3-day hotel quarantine imposed under the Quarantine Act on temporary foreign workers upon entering into Canada.
The MISTFWP offers support under two separate streams:
Under the 14-Day Isolation Period Stream, the program will provide a maximum non-repayable contribution amount of $1,500 for each temporary foreign worker.
Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
The Government of Canada announced an up to 75 per cent wage subsidy for qualifying businesses, retroactive to March 15, 2020 to March 13, 2021. This subsidy will enable you to re-hire workers, help prevent further job losses, and ease your business back into normal operations. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy is available for application until June 2021.
COVID-19 Ontario Site
- Self-assessment Tool
- Learn about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
- COVID-19 Toolkit for Farmers and Workers
For additional information please contact
Agricultural Information Contact Centre:
For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300