ALR spells protection for future

Resident wants the Agricultural Land Commission protected

As a B.C. resident I am disappointed to read and hear that the Agricultural Land Reserve and the independent tribunal known as the Agricultural Land Commission are under threat yet again.

One would have thought that after a period of almost 40 years, the benefits of both institutions would outweigh, by far, any attempt to get rid of them on short notice.

This province has roughly 4.7 million hectares of land in the ALR or five per cent of our total land area.

Of this amount, a smaller percentage is prime agricultural land with the balance being grazing, range and forest land.

The ALC website informs us that the NDP government of the day decided on the ALR course of action in part because 6,000 hectares of prime land were being lost each year to non-farm uses.

It is pretty clear to me that sustained opposition to the ALR has come from those who are ideologically opposed to a successful initiative from a socialist government.

If we are ever to enjoy a degree of security of food production in this topographically challenged province it would seem prudent to retain and strengthen both the ALR and the independence of the ALC.

If there are still ALR boundary adjustments to be made to resolve historic anomalies from 1974 to 1976, then let those happen, but no more prime land should be released ever.

The Tolko wood pellet plant in Lavington is a case in point.

A small amount of land may be taken out of production but a much larger parcel would be added to the ALR right in this region. This would result in a net gain to the ALR.

The provincial government and municipalities should continue to work with right to farm legislation and regulations that are already in place.

In fact, the provincial government could do more to help provincial agricultural production such as establishing a land bank system for want of a better term.

This would ensure that prime land remains available to those who want to work in food production in future.

It would also help those individuals and families who do not want or cannot continue to work in this vitally important industry.

So much of our prime land is concentrated in valleys and areas where people also like to build homes and live – the Fraser, Thompson/Okanagan, Creston and those regions like the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

This fact alone tells me that the ALR needs to be protected at all cost.

It should not be left to wither and die from a lack of political will or financial resources.

 

Rod Drennan

 

 

Just Posted

Coldstream woman transforms synthetic waste into art

UBCO grad’s exhibit at Caetani Centre

Theft of Vernon teen’s stolen bike has happy ending

A 31 year old man from Alberta was arrested Wednesday and is currently in custody facing charges

Vernon man praises CMHA suicide grief support group

Vernon and District branch offers another session Sept. 4 to Oct. 23

Giant paper airplane set to launch in Vernon park

The Okanagan Science Centre invites the public to watch the takeoff on Saturday, Aug. 24 at 2 p.m.

Riot on the Roof returns to top of Vernon Parkade

Party of the summer will rock out above the city

Trudeau vows to stand firm against ‘increasingly assertive’ China

China has accused Canada of meddling in its affairs

Police watchdog investigating two officers after Langley teen’s suspected overdose

According to IIO, two officers were deployed to help Carson Crimeni but did not locate him before he died

B.C. father tells judge he did not kill his young daughters

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

Judge seeks compassion for man caught on moped

Defendant says ICBC told him he could drive

The Ice Queen of the blues coming to the South Okanagan

Award winning blues artist Sue Foley coming to the Dream Café

UPDATED: Kelly Ellard gets day parole extended for six more months, overnight leave

Kelly Ellard was convicted of killing 14-year-old Reena Virk in 1997

Indoor Okanagan soccer league expands in 2nd year

The Okanagan Premier League (OPL) returns for indoor action in October

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

Most Read