Has fracing made you rich? Alberta de­clares province-wide agri­cul­tur­al dis­as­ter, expects to pay $1 Billion to 80% of farmers struggling with drought. Meanwhile fracing contaminating drinking water continues, unabated

Alberta de­clares province-wide agri­cul­tur­al dis­as­ter by Rachel Ward, August 22, 2015, Edmonton Journal
The Alberta gov­ern­ment on Fri­day de­clared a province wide agri­cul­tur­al dis­as­ter as a re­sult of ex­treme weath­er con­di­tions.

The dec­lar­a­tion allows the gov­ern­ment-run Agri­cul­tur­al Financial Services Corporation to ac­cess re­serve funds and pay out above aver­age in­sur­ance claims more quick­ly, Agri­cul­tur­e and Forestry Minister Oneil Carlier said Sat­ur­day, while touring a farm­ers mar­ket in the southern Alberta hamlet of Millarville.

Ear­li­er this month, the AFSC said it ex­pects to pay out close to $1 bil­lion to the 80 per cent of Alberta farm­ers strug­gling with drought.

“I’m stand­ing in the mud right now in Millarville. There’s been really good rain this past lit­tle while. It’s hard to talk about drought when we’re up to nor­mal for this time per­iod,” Carlier said.

“The issue is we didn’t get the rain when we needed it. Right now, it’s too lit­tle, too late. The dam­age to the crops has al­read­y occurred.”

As for seek­ing fi­nan­cial sup­port from the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment, “we will be hav­ing that con­ver­sa­tion,” Carlier said. “It’ll take in ef­fect more than just Alberta, because I know the vast ma­jor­ity of Saskatchewan is dry, as well.”

The har­vest is short in MacKenzie County, Reeve Bill Neu­feld said Satur­day. His north­ern Alberta coun­ty is one of about 20 that de­clared lo­cal states of agri­cul­tur­al dis­as­ter, try­ing to spark provincial action.

“It’s long over­due. We need that real­ly badly,” Neu­feld said.

Pas­tures and hay fields — few of which are in­sured in Alberta — have been dry enough to make hay scare in much of the prov­ince. Live­stock produ­cers have turned to so­cial media to share ship­ping costs or seek dona­tions.

The prov­ince of­fered dis­counts on wat­er pumps to fill dug­outs, and is also looking into of­fer­ing gov­ern­ment land to graze live­stock. The federal gov­ern­ment of­fered to defer some taxes on cat­tle sales.

More im­medi­ate help would help keep cat­tle in Alberta, Neufeld said.

“The cat­tle are be­ing shipped and our num­bers are go­ing down. It takes a long time to re­plen­ish the herds.”

The ministry is considering ways to help pro­du­cers feed live­stock, which, for ex­ample, could in­clude trans­por­ta­tion sub­sid­ies tar­get­ed at the people who need it most, Carlier said. For now, insurance should be “the first line of de­fence,” he said.

“My crys­tal ball is as cloudy as the next per­son’s, and I hope we don’t have any more droughts in the near fu­ture,” Carlier said.

“Droughts are a nat­ural part of the land­scape. Our farm­ers are hard working, a re­sili­ent bunch. They’ve worked through drought be­fore and with a lit­tle bit of as­sist­ance, will work through this one.” [Emphasis added]

[And, dumping of oil field waste on Alberta food land continues:

At Rosebud:

2012 Drilling Waste on Food Land in Wheatland County Alberta 1 in short film Home by FrackingCanada

And in the Lochend, Rocky View County. Photo: FrackingCanada: Fracking Rocky View County:

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