The independent Minister’s Advisory Committee for Revitalizing the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) and the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) has submitted its interim report to Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture.
“I want to thank the committee members for their significant work engaging British Columbians in the development of these recommendations,” said Popham. “The ALC plays a key role in protecting the ALR and encouraging farming throughout our province. This independent report is an important contribution to the conversation we’ve been having in B.C. to build a strong and resilient agricultural sector for generations to come.”
The committee identified 13 recommendations for legislative and regulatory change, and four recommendations for action to protect the ALR. It also identified 14 key issues that are still under consideration for its final report.
The Ministry of Agriculture will review the committee’s recommendations over the coming weeks to analyze the impacts of the recommendations.
Along with the interim report, the committee also submitted a “what we heard” report summarizing the findings from stakeholder meetings and public engagement held from February to April 30, 2018.
The committee travelled to nine communities around B.C. to hear from regional stakeholders. There were also over 280 written submissions made as part of the engagement process, and over 2,300 British Columbians completed the committee’s online survey.
The committee, formed in January 2018, is made up of eight British Columbians with diverse agricultural backgrounds and experience who were tasked with leading both the revitalization of the ALR and the ALC and an authentic and meaningful consultation process.
Revitalization of the ALR and the ALC is a key priority identified in the Minister of Agriculture’s mandate letter.
The interim report and the “what we heard” document are available online: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/agriculturallandreserve/
News release announcing the committee’s creation: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2018AGRI0002-000009