Region sends ALC support

North Okanagan politicians are rallying behind the Agricultural Land Reserve

North Okanagan politicians are rallying behind the Agricultural Land Reserve.

The board will write the provincial government expressing its support of the Agricultural Land Commission as an independent entity.

“If we don’t voice strong support for autonomy, we may lose that and then we lose the ALR and bring on the developers,” said director Mike Macnabb.

“They (ALC) are the first defense for protecting farms and food production.”

There has been some concern that the provincial government may change the mandate of the ALC or hand some of its responsibilities over to other provincial agencies.

RDNO also wants local governments consulted before any changes may be made to the ALC.

However, while the decision to write Victoria was unanimous, not all board members favour the status quo at the ALC.

“They have a role to encourage viable agriculture and the policies are detrimental to agriculture,” said director Rick Fairbairn. “Several properties are weed infested and livestock is non-existent, and there’s a big problem out there.”

Director Rob Sawatzky is urging the government to consult with municipalities and regional districts about the ALC.

“There are difficulties with the ALC and it needs some housekeeping,” he said.