ALR review continues in B.C.

A committee is continuing to study how to revitalize British Columbia’s Agricultural Land Reserve and Agricultural Land Commission.

The public had the opportunity to provide input, and the consultation process ran until the end of April.

“The committee is working hard to compile all of that information and come up with some interim results,” said Jennifer Dyson, chair of the nine member committee.

“We’re not at any stage to release anything yet and working towards more of a final report.”

Dyson said one of the most important things the committee heard was that there is a diminishing voice for agriculture in the province.

“I think we see this across Canada, anyway. We certainly see it across the province,” she said.

“We do see a lot of times, agriculture out there working on issues themselves. Probably the best example is when we’re looking at crown lands for the cattle industry and often times they’re waiting for long periods of time to hear about access or water licenses or a whole host of different things….

“So, all over the province, I think, we’re finding that the capacity for agriculture is getting more and more difficult.”

The committee is now sorting through the results and information it received.

“We’ve had a tremendous amount of emails and presentations, and I can tell you that it takes a tremendous amount of time to read all of this and to make sure that we’re doing justice to every aspect of what we heard,” she said.

“As well … looking at ways to make the Agriculture Land Commission work better for agriculture— we heard that as well. There’s an awful lot of ambiguity, so I’m not really in a spot where I can say emphatically what we’re going to do. That’s where we are right now, is to try to determine where all of the information and what is our best approach moving forward.”

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