Speech from Marcel Hacault, Executive Director, Canadian Agricultural Safety Association
AAFC Press Conference – Farm Safety Funding Announcement, February 19, 2014
AAFC Press Release – Harper Government Invests in Farm Safety
De la part de mon président, Denis Bilodeau et le Conseil d’administration de l’Association canadienne de sécurité agricole je voudrais remercier le département d’agriculture et agroalimentaire Canada pour leur support. On behalf of the CASA Board of Directors I would like to thank Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for their continued commitment to farm safety. AAFC, along with many other CASA partners, recognize that not only is it important to grow safe, high quality food, but it is also important that Canadian farmers, their families and their workers are able to work in a safe environment.
In 1993, what began as a coalition of safety-minded groups from across the ag sector, has evolved into what CASA is today—a national leader in the promotion of farm safety, which represents over 100 groups from across the industry.
AAFC has been there since the beginning, supporting CASA as we have launched new initiatives, studied trends in agricultural injuries, and distributed funds to groups undertaking farm safety initiatives from coast to coast.
Now, with the Ministry’s generous commitment of up to $3.4 million dollars over the next five years, CASA will continue working to support farm families by investing in programming that contributes to the health and safety of producers and agricultural workplaces across the country.
- We will continue tracking trends in agricultural fatalities in Canada. Canada is the only country with a comprehensive agricultural fatalities surveillance program. The data from the Canadian Agricultural Injury Reporting (CAIR) program helps the sector understand where injuries are occurring and where investments need to be made to help reduce fatalities.
- AAFC’s commitment will also help to support the farm safety education of thousands of rural youth throughout Canada. Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® events teach children how to stay safe on the farm by learning about everything from animal safety, to avoiding chemical, equipment and storage hazards. Since 2002, CASA has reached over 69,000 children and participants through Safety Days.
- CASA will also continue to expand the delivery and uptake of the Canada FarmSafe Plan, as well as supporting training materials. The Canada FarmSafe Plan is a business risk-management tool that producers can use to establish written health and safety plans for their operations. Already, AAFC’s support has helped CASA reach producers and students in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia. Over the next five years, CASA will extend the reach of the Canada FarmSafe Plan and other tools even further.
- AAFC’s commitment will continue to help support Canadian Agricultural Safety Week, an important national public education campaign that reminds millions of people every year about the importance of farm safety. Our upcoming campaign, Let’s Talk About It!, focuses on the importance of communication in the farm workplace, and encourages community engagement.
- Lastly, AAFC’s contribution will continue to support CASA’s annual conference and AGM, which serves as an important meeting ground for innovations in agricultural health and safety from across the country. This year, we will host our 20th conference in the nation’s capital, of Ottawa, Ontario.
With Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s continued support, and with the support of additional CASA partners from across the industry, we will continue to work together to empower producers and their families to be innovative and productive farm businesses that champion safety and risk management at every stage of their operation. Together, we can build a Canada where no one is hurt farming.
Once again and on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association, I would like to thank AAFC, Minister Bergen, and the Harper government for their continued investment in farm safety. Thank you. Merci.