On Wednesday, AAFC Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau met online with a dozen farming women affiliated with the National Farmers Union (NFU) to discuss the importance of child care to women in the agriculture sector.

Bibeau issued the following statement:

“Today, I met with a group of women farmers from across Canada to discuss Budget 2021 and the generational investment to build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, women in agriculture already faced difficult challenges balancing responsibilities and expectations tied to their jobs and families. We all know that many women are forced to quit jobs or stop work on the farm because they don’t have childcare support. COVID-19 has exacerbated these pressures and unfairly affected women in Canada and forced many female farmers into these sacrifices.

The women I spoke to today voiced their excitement for a Canada-wide early learning and child care system, backed by an investment of $30 billion over 5 years in Budget 2021. We heard them when they told us they needed this kind of support. The plan is to reduce fees for parents with children in regulated child care by 50 per cent, on average, by 2022, with a goal of reaching $10 per day on average by 2026, everywhere outside of Quebec.

By investing in early learning and child care, we are investing in the success of women in the agriculture sector.

I continue to be inspired by so many women I meet in the agriculture sector who tackle the unique rural and sectoral challenges with intelligence and determination. The challenges and barriers of farm women are unique and need to be addressed separately. And with the right supports, the sky is truly the limit.”