The Agricultural Land Commission will have even greater independence than ever if new provincial legislation introduced today is eventually passed.
Bill 15 will strengthen the ALC’s independence so it can “better fulfil its mandate of preserving the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) while encouraging farming and ranching within British Columbia.”
The province wants to “revitalize” the ALR, which was created in 1973 to protect the farmland that provides B.C.’s food security.
“The bill tabled today builds on the work we started over a year ago to better protect farmland and encourage farming and ranching in B.C.,” Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham said in a press release. “We are ensuring the commission has the tools and the governance model required to strengthen its independence and ability to act in the best interest of our farmland within the Agricultural Land Reserve so that British Columbians are able to access safe, locally grown food for generations to come.”
If the legislation passes, the governing body would become one commission instead of the current six panel regions and executive committee, there would be more compliance officers and enforcement and more flexibility for the ALC chair to organize commission members based on each case.
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