A Liberal election promise to expand and rename Farm Credit Canada has been cancelled, according to the federal agriculture minister.
The party’s platform in the fall of 2019 included a promise to “merge existing financial and advisory services currently scattered between several agencies into Farm Credit Canada, whose mandate will be expanded and enhanced.”
The party said the new entity, which would have been called Farm and Food Development Canada, would be a single point of service in supporting the Liberals’ goal at the time of making Canada the world’s second largest agricultural exporter by 2025.
But the plan to revamp FCC was quietly dropped, mainly due to COVID, according to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau.
“Fall 2019 and the beginning of COVID were very close,” Bibeau noted, responding to a question from Senator Don Plett in an appearance during the Senate’s Question Period on June 2, 2022. “It was our intention in the fall of 2019.”
“I would say that because of COVID and perhaps because of the new situation, we have identified other priorities,” she said. “But Farm Credit Canada definitely is still an important tool and an important organization in our agricultural environment.”
The 2019 Liberal election platform also included a commitment to invest an additional $5 billion in the newly created Farm and Food Development Canada. Those funds were reframed as COVID support in an announcement made in March 2020.
FCC was established as Farm Credit Corporation in 1959. In 1993, the federal government expanded the Crown corporation’s scope beyond the farmgate, allowing FCC to offer loans to agriculture and food-related businesses. Its name was changed from Farm Credit Corporation to Farm Credit Canada in 2001.