New Online Tool to Help Canadian Farmers Manage Risk

Flooding, pests, disease and other extreme weather events are constant risks to the businesses and livelihoods of farmers. The Government of Canada is committed to working with industry partners to explore and develop new risk management tools that meets the needs of Canadian farmers when faced with serious challenges beyond their control.

Member of Parliament, Francis Drouin, today announced a $786,921 investment for Farm Management Canada to develop a new online agricultural risk management tool called “AgriShield”. This online tool will help farmers have real-time assessments of the potential negative impact of risks to their businesses and provide mitigation solutions. For instance, if an overland flood situation is imminent, the tool can help farmers to assess the degree of risk they face and potential mitigation measures that they can adopt, such as tile draining or insurance coverage.

This investment is being made through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s AgriRisk Initiatives (ARI) which supports the research and development, as well as the implementation and administration of new risk management tools for use in the agriculture sector.


“Canadian farmers face risk every day and it is essential they have the necessary tools to better understand and manage risk. The recent flooding in Eastern Ontario and Quebec, for example, shows the need to help farmers more effectively manage risk, so that they can be stronger, more innovative and more competitive.”
– Francis Drouin, Member of Parliament for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell

“Less than 1/3 of Canada’s farmers have a risk management plan. Our ultimate goal is to increase the awareness and adoption of risk management practices and planning as part of the farm management process and cultivate a more comprehensive understanding and approach to assessing and managing risk within the agricultural sector.”
– Heather Watson, Executive Director Farm Management Canada

Quick facts

  • Farm Management Canada (FMC) is a national organization dedicated exclusively to providing leading edge resources to enable Canadian producers to make sound management decisions.
  • The online tool covers all areas of potential risk faced by agricultural businesses, gathering data that will enable farmers, commodity groups and the agriculture sector to establish benchmarks for improved risk management performance.
  • Project partners include the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and the consulting firm Meyers Norris Penny.
  • AgriRisk Initiatives is a Growing Forward 2, Business Risk Management program.

Additional links

Follow us on Twitter: @AAFC_Canada
Like us on Facebook: CanadianAgriculture


SOURCE Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

For further information: Guy Gallant, Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, 613-773-1059; Media Relations, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, 613-773-7972, 1-866-345-7972; Heather Watson, Executive Director, Farm Management Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Telephone: 1-888-232-3262 Fax: 1-800-270-8301, Email:,


Soggy forecast worries Canadian farmers in race to sow crops

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, May 23 (Reuters) – Heavy rain forecast for the soggiest parts of the Canadian Prairies this week is likely to further delay plantings in the world’s biggest canola exporting country, meteorologists say.

The rain, forecast to hit Alberta and Saskatchewan on Wednesday and Thursday respectively, would be the latest blow to farmers who could not harvest all of their canola and wheat last autumn due to wet conditions that stretched into spring.

“There’s a lot of people who have barely started (planting),” said Laramie Eyben, who farms near Vermilion, Alta., and has fields too muddy to drive across.

“There will be people who don’t get half their crop seeded.”

Most planting in the western farm belt is usually finished in May.

Environment Canada said in a statement on Tuesday that 30 to 75 mm (1.2 to 3 inches) of rain will reach west central Alberta by Wednesday.

“The entire northern two-thirds of Alberta, northern one-quarter of Saskatchewan, they don’t need a single drop of rain. Every bit of it is too much,” said Drew Lerner, senior agricultural meteorologist of World Weather Inc.

Alberta farmers have until June 5 to plant grain and canola to qualify for insurance on crop quality, and until June 20 to qualify for yield insurance.

Eyben said he may switch plans to sow canola on 800 acres and instead sow barley, a shorter-season crop that has time to mature after a later planting date.

The rain will slow planting, but dry weather is likely to follow for more than a week, said Joel Widenor, meteorologist at Commodity Weather Group.

“It will put a dent into progress, but with that drydown after, I would expect to see at least some recovery,” he said.

Thirty-one percent of Alberta farmland was planted as of May 16, less than half of the five-year average pace, the government said. The pace is closer to normal in Saskatchewan.

ICE Canada November canola futures were up 0.4 percent on Tuesday around midday. The weather-fueled increase was capped by factors including a surge in the Canadian dollar, a dip in profit margins for canola processors and lower soybean prices, said Keith Ferley, a commodity trader at RBC.

Aviva and Tennis Canada partner to deliver a branded insurance experience

Aviva Canada Inc., one of the country’s leading providers of home, auto, leisure and business insurance, is proud to provide  both fans and players alike a new tennis-focused brand experience for home and auto insurance through an extended partnership with Tennis Canada.  The Tennis Canada Home and Auto insurance program powered by Aviva will provide exceptional insurance coverage at a competitive price through an easy-to-use digital experience, with sales and service provided by SmartCoverage Insurance Services Inc.

This program, targeted to all Ontario tennis club members and fans, is available through Aviva and its broker partners.  The aim is for the program to be available to all tennis enthusiasts in 2018.

To support tennis at the grassroots level, members will have a chance to win a contest to host tennis star Milos Raonic at their club. Raonic, currently the No. 6-ranked player in the world, serves as a brand ambassador for Aviva. More information is available at

“This program is about matching the passion and commitment of tennis players and fans with the dedication we bring to serving our home and auto insurance customers,” said Jason Storah, Executive Vice-President, Broker Distribution, Aviva Canada, “and it’s available to all of our brokers across Ontario.”

Aviva Canada is also sponsor of the Aviva Centre, a world-class tennis facility and home to the prestigious Rogers Cup presented by National Bank, and the training base for one of Tennis Canada’s National Junior Training Programs. In addition, Aviva Canada is the Official Platinum and exclusive Insurance Sponsor of Rogers Cup presented by National Bank.

“We are absolutely delighted to expand our relationship with Aviva Canada in a way that benefits tennis at a very grassroots level,” said Rob Swann, Chief Commercial Officer, Tennis Canada. “Aviva Canada is an outstanding partner with Tennis Canada and together we will continue to grow the great sport of tennis across the country.”

About Aviva Canada
Aviva Canada Inc. is one of the leading property and casualty insurance groups in the country providing home, automobile, leisure/lifestyle and business insurance to 2.9 million customers. A wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based Aviva plc, the company has more than 4,000 employees focused on creating a bright and sustainable future for their customers and communities.

Aviva Canada invests in positive change through the Aviva Community Fund, Canada’s longest running online community funding competition. Since its inception in 2009, the Aviva Community Fund has awarded $7.5 million to over 250 charities and community groups nationwide. Aviva Canada, bringing over 300 years of good thinking and insurance solutions to Canadians from coast-to-coast.

For more information visit, the company’s blog or Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

About Tennis Canada
Founded in 1890, Tennis Canada is a non-profit, national sport association with a mission to lead the growth of tennis in Canada and a vision to become a world-leading tennis nation. We value teamwork, passion, integrity, innovation and excellence. Tennis Canada owns and operates the premier Rogers Cup presented by National Bank WTA and ATP World Tour events, 10 professional ITF-sanctioned events and financially supports 12 other professional tournaments in Canada. Tennis Canada operates national junior training centres/programs in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary. Tennis Canada is a proud member of the International Tennis Federation, the Canadian Olympic Committee, the Canadian Paralympic Committee and the International Wheelchair Tennis Association, and serves to administer, sponsor and select the teams for Davis Cup, Fed Cup, the Olympic and Paralympic Games and all wheelchair, junior and senior national teams. Tennis Canada invests its surplus into tennis development. For more information on Tennis Canada, please visit our website at and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

SOURCE Aviva Canada Inc.

A year after Fort McMurray experts warn more needed deal with wildfire threat

By John Cotter


Experts warn it is only a matter of time before another community in Canada is ravaged by a sudden intense wildfire similar to the one that hit Fort McMurray.

And the insurance industry says governments aren’t doing enough to prevent destructive blazes before they happen.

In recent years, other big wildfires have caused extensive damage in Kelowna, B.C., and Slave Lake, Alta., or seriously threatened communities, including La Ronge, Sask., and Timmins, Ont.

“These were not one-offs. It is not a fluke,” says Mike Flannigan, a professor of wildland fire at the University of Alberta. “It is going to happen again.”

Natural Resources Canada says climate change is expected to result in more frequent forest fires that have severe consequences. The area burned could double by the end of the century compared with recent decades.

Sylvie Gauthier with the Canadian Forest Service says a warming climate has already made forests in much of Canada drier than they used to be. Last spring was one of the driest in the Fort McMurray area in the last 100 years.

As temperatures increase, so will the risk.

“The expectation is it will grow in the coming years,” Gauthier says.  “For a large portion of the boreal forest the fire season is also projected to be longer.”

Another factor is that more people a major cause of wildfires along with lightning are choosing to live, work and play in forested areas.

Governments already spend millions of dollars every year to respond to wildfires and help pay for damage.

But the Insurance Bureau of Canada says more must be done to prevent fires rather than dealing with the destruction afterwards.

Bill Adams, the bureau’s vice-president, says governments are spending more on measures to mitigate the threat, but it isn’t enough.

“Awareness is critical and at this point it is exceptionally low,” he says. “Unless we have a much higher level of awareness around this risk and prudent investments and action taken by federal and provincial governments and individual citizens it is likely that we will have another major damaging fire.”

Adams says measures should include creating buffer zones around communities and homes by removing trees and brush that could act as pathways for a fire. Builders should also be required to use less flammable roofing and siding material.

Adams says the fact no one died in the Fort McMurray disaster is astounding, despite more than 80,000 people being forced to flee and almost 2,600 dwellings being destroyed.

He says the evacuation’s success was partly due to there being a major highway leading out of the city, the relatively young age of residents and many people having some knowledge of safety from living in an oil industry community.

That might not be the case if a major fire were to threaten a more remote community with older, less healthy residents and fewer roads.

“That is why we are sounding the alarm as an industry about raising the level of preparedness and that starts with understanding the risk.”

Flannigan says governments should funnel fire prevention money to communities that need it the most.

Municipalities need to change how they plan development, such as not building homes and subdivisions right next to forests, he suggests. More attention also must be played to the threat that wildfires pose to remote indigenous communities that don’t have roads.

Flannigan believes the Fort McMurray wildfire is a wake-up call to governments that more needs to be done sooner rather than later.

“Sometimes to change our behaviour you need a few bloody noses. Well, we have had a few bloody noses, and it is time to change.”

North Carolina returns home to celebrate 6th NCAA title

By Joedy McCreary


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. _ North Carolina dedicated the past year to redeeming itself for 4.7 agonizing seconds.

Now these Tar Heels will hang another banner from the Smith Center rafters.

Or the ceiling. But probably not the roof.

No longer haunted by the memory of a buzzer-beating loss in last year’s title game, but galvanized by a misstatement from their most decorated former player, the Tar Heels returned home Tuesday with their sixth NCAA Tournament trophy, which they earned a night earlier by beating Gonzaga in the championship game.

“This year,” senior Isaiah Hicks said, “we did it.”

Thousands of fans poured into the arena and onto the court before the team’s flight had even landed at nearby Raleigh-Durham International Airport, and they cheered fanatically every time live footage of the team’s motorcade was shown on the video scoreboards.

When the individual players were introduced, they showered Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year Justin Jackson with chants of “one more year.”

“It just didn’t seem like we were going to get back to where we wanted to be, and you all did a great job,” said guard Joel Berry II, still wearing the net from the title game around his neck. “We just basically did our thing, and we came back home with it.”

This was the first time the team and its fans were together inside the Smith Center since a victory over Duke in the regular-season finale exactly one month earlier _ a night made memorable by Michael Jordan’s surprise appearance at halftime to announce a partnership between the athletic department and his Nike line.

During his remarks to the crowd, he said of the football program: “The ceiling is the roof.”

Just as quickly as it went viral, the basketball team adopted it as its rallying cry for the post-season.

Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams said he received a text from Jordan congratulating him because he “raised the ceiling to the roof.”

And during another memorable snapshot from the celebration, the in-house cameras turned toward the six banners hanging from the arena’s rafters while athletic director Bubba Cunningham repeated Jordan’s malapropism.

The Tar Heels (33-7) climbed as high as No. 3 in the AP Top 25 and were sixth in the final media poll, won the Atlantic Coast Conference’s regular-season title by two games and earned No. 1 seeds in both the conference and NCAA tournaments.

They won their last five NCAA Tournament games by an average of 5.6 points, earning a one-point victory over Oregon in the Final Four before pulling away to beat Gonzaga and claim their latest championship while capping a season overshadowed by events from both the near and distant past.

Another year was played amid the shadow of an NCAA investigation into the school’s long-running academic fraud scandal touching athletes in numerous sports, tied to irregularities in an academic department and leading to five broad-based charges against the school that include lack of institutional control.

The NCAA reopened its investigation in summer 2014 and first charged UNC in a Notice of Allegations (NOA) filed in May 2015. It then revised the charges in a second version last April, and then changed them again in a third version filed in December.

There’s currently another delay while the school and the NCAA work on a new schedule for UNC to file its response to the third Notice of Allegations, as the attorney for a woman at the centre of the scandal said he is working to set up an interview after she had previously refused to speak with investigators.

The investigation began in 2010 meaning the players on this team were still years away from arriving in Chapel Hill when it started.

What haunted them most was how last season ended .

They couldn’t escape the highlights from the 2016 championship game, when Marcus Paige seemingly sent the title game to overtime with an acrobatic jumper with 4.7 seconds left _ only to lose when Kris Jenkins beat the buzzer with a dagger of a 3-pointer that gave Villanova the title.

The season-long vow was to get back to the title game, and not let it slip away this time. They kept that wound fresh all year: Jackson gave the team’s text-messaging group a name ‘Redemption.”

By Tuesday morning, according to a screenshot posted on Twitter by guard Nate Britt , the group had a new name.


IBC congratulates Government of British Columbia on significant investment in emergency preparedness

Today, the Government of British Columbia announced significant funding for emergency preparedness projects across the province. Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) applauds these investments and supports the government’s focus on mitigation and responsiveness. These efforts will help keep British Columbians safe when disasters strike.

“On behalf of Canada’s property and casualty insurers, I would like to congratulate the Government of British Columbia on this important investment in public safety,” said Bill Adams, Vice-President, Western & Pacific, IBC. “Our industry remains committed to being a full partner in making BC communities safer and stronger during natural disasters and the severe weather effects of climate change.”

The government announced an investment of more than $80 million for flood prevention and protection, seismic safety, local government emergency preparedness, search and rescue, and fire prevention. The bulk of the funding will be allocated to the Union of BC Municipalities for local communities to develop and build on their emergency response plans.

“We all have a role to play in emergency preparedness,” added Adams. “Canada’s property and casualty insurers are working with communities, citizens and all levels of government to highlight the importance of disaster resilience. This funding further builds on the government’s leadership and will go a long way in creating a strong, robust disaster-management system in this province.”

Additional resources:

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 120,000 Canadians, pays $9 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $49 billion.

For media releases and more information, visit IBC’s Media Centre at Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau or @IBC_West and like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC’s Consumer Information Centre at 1-844-2ask-IBC.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

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