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Trudeau pledges $252M for COVID-19 aid to agriculture

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau leaves after delivering an address to Canadians from Rideau Cottage during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is promising a $252-million aid package for Canada's agriculture and food industries in the COVID-19 pandemic.

He says $77 million of that will go to measures to keep workers in food processing safe with protective equipment and by supporting physical distancing in workplaces.

Meat-packing plants, in particular, have seen large outbreaks of the virus that causes COVID-19. 

The package includes money for beef and pork producers holding animals they can't sell, a credit program for the dairy industry and a $50-million fund to buy food that spoils and send it to groups such as food banks.

The funds fall far short of the $2.6 billion request for help last month from the Canadian Federation of Agriculture.

Trudeau said the money is a starting point.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 5, 2020.

The Canadian Press