ALC review could have repercussions

Bold changes to the ALR and ALC could have a significant impact on North Saanich and other areas of the Saanich Peninsula

The B.C. government is undertaking a core review of the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) and the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), encouraging ministers to take a “bold approach to ideas they submit to the core review process.”

Bold changes to the ALR and ALC could have a significant impact on North Saanich and other areas of the Saanich Peninsula, as well as the rest of B.C.

Before the establishment of the ALR, B.C. was losing agricultural land at a rate of 6,000 hectares per year. In 2002, the government restructured the commission into six regional panels and in the following three years, the panels approved the exclusion of 70.5 per cent of the ALR lands that were proposed for exclusion. Vancouver Island had the highest rate of exclusions in the province, at 89 per cent.

According to the North Saanich Economic Development Strategy for Agriculture, ALR land represents nearly one third of the total land base of North Saanich.

Some ALR land is controlled by agencies that come under federal jurisdiction (the Centre for Plant Health and the Victoria Airport Authority) and are not under the authority of the B.C. ALC.

North Saanich has the highest average annual farm income of any municipality on Vancouver Island, with average annual gross farm receipts of $119,674 — twice the average for Vancouver Island as a whole.

Gross revenues for North Saanich farms increased by 212  per cent over the last 20 years. In addition, the agri-food sector is the second highest growth sector in the Capital Region labour market.

Food security advocates are concerned that a significant gutting of the powers of the ALC may occur as a result of this review.

For North Saanich, that could have serious ramifications, including for the future of Sandown.

Written submissions can be made to before Oct. 16.

Bernadette Greene

North Saanich


Just Posted

Greater Victoria enjoys sunny first day of spring

Summer-like temperatures of 21 degrees hit Wednesday for first day of spring

Esquimalt puts freeze on taxes for local businesses

The tax increase for residents sits at 5.51 per cent, averaging to an additional $46

Bitter Saturna land-use dispute highlights legal grey areas

Unhappy Tsawout accuse leadership of cultural destruction

Development replacing Fairfield United Church gets final approval

The new Unity Commons Development will take over the space at 1303 Fairfield Rd.

Saanich forwards student-targeted development to public hearing

Proposed development advertises itself to individuals who want a car-free lifestyle

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

Most Read