Expanded Disaster Financial Assistance Program

Emergency Measures Organization (to Dec. 19, 2005)

October 20, 2003 12:39 PM

The province is making sure commercial farmers, fishers and small
commercial woodlot owners, whose livelihoods have been
jeopardized by Hurricane Juan, are getting the help they need.
The eligibility criteria for the province's current disaster
financial assistance arrangement (DFAA) is being expanded to
better assist the resource sectors.

"Agriculture, fishing and forestry -- these sectors have been a
major economic driver and an important piece of our traditional
way of life for hundreds of years," Ernest Fage, Minister
responsible for the Emergency Measures Organization, said today,
Oct. 20. "We recognize that people in these resource sectors have
had their livelihoods placed in jeopardy as a result of the
hurricane so we have changed the current program to make
assistance available to a greater number of people."

Enhancements to the program include the following changes:

In the agricultural sector:
-- the province will expand the level of assistance to include
eligible losses on all lands that are used in a commercial
agricultural business to earn income, regardless of who owns
them;
-- where insurance coverage is generally available but has been
capped or otherwise limited by the insurance industry and the
damage incurred to agricultural buildings exceeds the insurable
coverage limitations, the province will provide additional
assistance of up to $200,000 depending on the amount of uninsured
damages.

In the fisheries sector:
-- financial assistance for repairs and reconstruction of wharves
that are considered essential to commercial fishing or other
commercial ventures will be expanded to apply even if the
fishermen/business owners do not own the wharf, as long as they
have a legal right to use it;
-- the current verification process has been streamlined to
provide financial assistance on the basis of documentation
attesting to the loss, so that those who require money to repair
wharves or replace their gear can be ready for the coming fishing
season;
-- where necessary, additional assistance of up to $50,000 will
be provided so that wharves can be repaired or reconstructed to
meet today's building code and/or environmental standards.

In the forestry sector:
-- small commercial woodlot owners who would not otherwise be
eligible will now have a degree of financial assistance to remove
damaged wood in order to prepare the site for natural
regeneration or replanting.

Applications for assistance can be made at any of the designated
municipal and provincial locations already assisting with the
application process. The deadline for submission of applications
is Friday, Nov. 21 at 4:30 p.m.

If an individual has already submitted a DFAA application, there
is no need to re-apply. All applications will be reviewed using
the new criteria.

Although estimates of the total financial impact of Hurricane
Juan are still being established, it is expected that the
province's share of the DFAA program, including the new expanded
eligibility criteria, will be included in government's commitment
of up to $10,000,000.

Individuals with inquiries related to the disaster financial
assistance program, or those wanting to know the designated sites
for applications, can call the province's public information line
at 1-800-670-4357 (902-424-5200 in the Halifax Regional
Municipality).


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     The Province of Nova Scotia is expanding the eligibility

criteria for its current disaster financial assistance program

to better assist the agriculture, fishery and forestry sectors.

     Under the expanded program, more commercial farmers, fishers

and small commercial woodlot owners will be eligible for

assistance.

     The changes mean more assistance for the repair of

agricultural buildings, commercial wharves, replacement of

fishing gear and for small commercial woodlots not previously

eligible.

     Applications for assistance can be made at one of the

designated municipal and provincial sites already assisting with

the applications process.

For more information on the disaster financial assistance

program, call 1-800-670-4357 (or 902-424-5200 in the Halifax

Regional Municipality).

-30-

Contact: Sheliah Tulloch
         Emergency Measures Organization
         902-424-0284
         E-mail: tullocsa@gov.ns.ca


kjd         October 20, 2003         12:37 P.M.