ALR Advisory Committee recommends changes to protect agricultural lands

An interim report from an independent advisory committee looking into revitalizing the Agricultural Land Reserve and the Agricultural Land Commission makes 13 recommendations for legislative and regulatory change -- including 4 aimed at protecting ALR lands.

The advisory committee was formed in January this year, and is chaired by former Delta South Independent MLA Vicki Huntington, and includes 8 B.C. residents with diverse agricultural backgrounds and experience.

Among their recommendations -- limiting the size of houses allowed on ALR land, and returning the entire ALR to a single zone.  In 2014 the former Liberal government introduced zone changes which opened the ALR up to other non-agricultural activities -- such as oil and gas exploration.

The committee also identified 14 key issues still under consideration for its final report.

BC's Agriculture Ministry staff will review the recommendations, and analyze the impact in the coming weeks.

The Greens are reviewing the report in detail with an eye to advancing legislation aimed at strengthening the ALR and BC's agricultural sector.

The committee travelled the province between February and March this year travelling to 9 communities, hearing from stakeholders and the public, and receiving over 280 written submissions.  As well, over 23-hundred British Columbians completed the committee's online survey.

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