VICTORIA, B.C. – The B.C. Green caucus welcomed the Ministry of Agriculture Advisory Committee’s agricultural land reserve (ALR) revitalization report released today. The Caucus emphasized that the government should act quickly to adopt the recommendations to limit house size on ALR land and to return the entire ALR to a single zone.
“The ALR is crucial to supporting B.C. agriculture, farmers and our local food security,” said Adam Olsen, B.C. Greens spokesperson for agriculture.
“It has been increasingly under threat due to the preponderance of mega mansions, stemming from speculation in our real estate market. This is driving up prices at a time when the industry is facing a demographic crisis and young farmers are struggling to afford to buy land. I am pleased to that the committee recommends that the province limit house size on the ALR and I urge the government to swiftly adopt this recommendation.”
B.C. Greens leader Andrew Weaver added that the government should also adopt the committee’s recommendation to return the ALR to a unified zone.
“The previous B.C. Liberal introduced the zone changes in 2014, which opened up precious farmland to oil and gas exploration, among other non-agricultural industrial activity,” Weaver said.
“That was a short-sighted decision made at a time when we should have instead been investing in the sustainable industries of the future. As the world shifts to the low carbon economy, it is essential that we take every opportunity to support economic development, especially in rural communities, in sectors that will sustain us in the long-term. I thank the committee, especially Chair Vicki Huntington, for their excellent work on this report. We are reviewing the other recommendations in detail and look forward to working with government to advance legislation that will ensure a strong, revitalized ALR so that British Columbians can benefit from a thriving agricultural sector for generations to come.”
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