SSGA Meet to Address Wildfire Aftermath

Media Release
For Immediate Release
January 25, 2018

SSGA Meet to Address Wildfire Aftermath

Members of the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA) discussed some of the key issues in the beef industry at their semi-annual meeting earlier today.

“It’s important for producers to meet face-to-face to talk about the issues most important to the beef sector and share their view on solutions,” stated Shane Jahnke, President of the SSGA. He highlighted the SSGA’s activities for the past six months including continuing to lobby the government against the national carbon tax and against federal proposed changes to the corporate taxation. “Both the carbon tax and the proposed changes to corporate taxation would put the beef industry at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to trade,” he added.

Members passed two resolutions in response to the wildfires that took place last fall. “The wildfires were devastating to producers that suffered losses,” Jahnke stated. “The fires illustrated the need for fire insurance for grasslands to be commercially available and if it were available to these producers this program would have been a huge help.” One resolution called on the province and the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) to incorporate fire insurance into their forage insurance program.

The second resolution called on the government to consider the non-insurable cost of labour and equipment on fencing to replace lost fences as an eligible loss under the AgriRecovery program. The wildfires damaged or destroyed approximately 200 miles of fences, most of which were not insured.

The members heard an important presentation on enhancing community capacity to respond to emergencies from Deputy Fire Commissioner Ray Unrau. He spoke on the effective use of firefighting resources and communications in communities during large-scale fire disasters. Unrau highlighted the challenges and lessons learned from fighting the wildfires last fall. He also stressed the importance of emergency preparedness and communication on the fire lines.

In another resolution, members asked the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to allow the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency to transfer information to livestock inspectors and the RCMP to help them in identifying stray and stolen animals.

A final resolution was adopted to lobby the Government of Saskatchewan and the SCIC to allow participants in the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program to be able to pay their premiums in the fall similar to other SCIC programs. Currently, producers have to pay at the time of purchase.

Jahnke also reported on the Wildfire Relief Fund. To date the fund has received $246,500 in cash donations, including a matching $100,000 funds from the Government of Saskatchewan, as well as over $200,000 of in-kind donations of trucking, feed, fencing materials and labour.

The meeting was held during the Saskatchewan Beef Industry Conference in Saskatoon on January 23-25.

Click Here to Review the Resolutions