April 24, 2018

Province Seeking Input on the Future of the Agricultural Land Reserve

Price Tags has been reporting on the devastating losses of arable Class 1 farmland in Metro Vancouver to gated private estates for the rich.
Only 0.5 percent of all of Canada’s land is considered Class 1 farmland; all of the City of Richmond’s agricultural land are in this class. These soils can grow a multitude of vegetables and provide future food security to unborn generations of people in this region. Places like Abbotsford and their Abbotsfwd Plan aim to cleave off Class 1 farmland for industrial purposes. The City of Richmond doggedly continues to allow mansions of 11,000 square feet on agricultural land, allowing developers to turn these valuable soils into private gated multi-million dollar playgrounds.
Indeed there are 61 proposals that Richmond City Council will consider to further eat up this land. It’s all about profit, not about preserving a valuable resource.
The Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) has a survey open until April 30 for you to provide your comment on the Province of British Columbia’s direction on food security and protecting our agricultural lands. As mentioned by panelists at the Simon Fraser University’s City Conversations last week, other interests will be presenting the developer point of view as a land resource on this survey.
Let your view on the future of farming be heard. The survey is not very straight forward, but Price Tags knows your comment will be.
The survey is available at 
And here’s the official bit from the Province on the survey:
“Share your ideas for revitalizing the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) and the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC).
B.C.’s Minister of Agriculture, Lana Popham, announced the formation of an independent committee to lead a public engagement process and provide recommendations to the provincial government around this important topic. The Advisory Committee will consider best approaches to revitalizing the ALR and the ALC.
The Minister’s Advisory Committee is seeking your views to deliver recommendations for a strong and robust Agricultural Land Reserve.
Please read the discussion paper the committee has prepared before completing the online survey.
The survey focuses on collecting British Columbians opinions and views on these common themes:

  • A defensible and defended ALR
  • ALR resilience
  • Stable governance
  • Efficacy of zones 1 and 2
  • Interpretation and implementation of the Act and regulation
  • Food security and B.C.’s agricultural contribution
  • Residential uses in the ALR
  • Farm processing and sales in the ALR
  • Unauthorized uses
  • Non-Farm uses and resource extraction in the ALR

Other ideas to support revitalization are also welcome.
The Advisory Committee will provide a final report to the Minister in fall 2018.
Submit your ideas by April 30, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.

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  2. Given the strong pressures on ALR near the urban fringe, is the best way forward expropriation and tenancy, which allows direct control of the public interest?

    1. In the survey I suggested that for those who refuse to play by the rules. You can issue fines but the threat of losing your land would keep speculators out.

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