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 financecommittee@leg.bc.ca before Oct. 16.

Bernadette Greene

North Saanich

 

Just Posted

Victoria city councillors advocate for better measures to reduce sexual violence in downtown bars

A motion coming to council this week asks for more action from liquor establishments

Downtown Victoria businesses cite parking issues as top challenge

A report put forward by the Downtown Victoria Business Association asked owners for input

Pair of Saanich fires, including one that resulted in a death, remain under investigation

Saanich Fire expect to wrap up investigation into Richmond Road Tuesday

Wind gusts turn away cruise ships from Victoria harbour

Weather conditions make docking difficult for large ships

Tips from BC Ferries for travelling this Canada Day long weekend

Tips from BC Ferries for smooth sailing this Canada Day long weekend

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Vancouver Island

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Most Read