Financial aid to fight inflation could be coming soon for N.S. farmers

·2 min read
A farmer works a field in Sheffield Mills in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley in 2010. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press - image credit)
A farmer works a field in Sheffield Mills in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley in 2010. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Nova Scotia farmers should soon learn more about some provincial government assistance to help with the escalating inflation rate and high fuel costs.

Agriculture Minister Greg Morrow told reporters Thursday he spent time in the Annapolis Valley this week visiting with farmers and hearing from them how they are struggling financially.

"It's a very real concern, like it is for many industries," said Morrow. "These are difficult conversations we have sometimes, but I assure them that I'm taking their concerns back to the department and back to the government and we'll be there to help where we can."

Morrow wouldn't offer specifics on how the provincial government will be able to help, but he hinted an announcement will come soon.

"This is a new problem that brings new challenges and we are looking at different ways in which we can help with the cost that affects our farmers," said Morrow. "We have decided to expand a program within the department that we'll be pleased to announce more details on in the coming days."

Robert Short/CBC
Robert Short/CBC

Morrow wouldn't elaborate on what that program is.

With most farmers now into their busy planting season, the cost of fuel, fertilizer and other materials are very high.

"My goal here is to help them and make their lives easier and in some ways we can," said Morrow. "But in other ways we are dealing with global circumstances that are outside our control."

Help for low income families

Farmers are not the only Nova Scotians feeling the economic pinch of high costs. Finance Minister Allan MacMaster is well aware of the extreme financial pressures low income families are under.

"We are looking at this more seriously than ever," said MacMaster. "We know people out there are hurting, particularly those who are on fixed incomes."

With gas and diesel prices at high levels, the amount of dollars being brought in through the fuel tax is also growing. But for now there will be no cuts to the fuel tax.

"We have to make sure that we have taxation so we have money that will allow us to redistribute the wealth to those who are most in need," said MacMaster.

MacMaster said his department is hoping they will be able to roll out more financial aid like the $13.2 million announced last month to help vulnerable Nova Scotians address the impact of rising fuel prices.


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