B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham attends annual Beef Day barbecue at the B.C. legislature, May 2019. (B.C. government photo)

B.C. farmland regulations allow return to local decision-making

Property owners still can’t apply to Agricultural Land Commission

B.C. farmers still aren’t “persons” under the NDP government’s overhaul of farmland rules, but centralized decision-making at the Agricultural Land Commission’s Burnaby headquarters is quietly being reversed.

Regulations made public by the agriculture ministry Thursday enforce the law passed last spring that prevents individual property owners from applying directly to the ALC for exclusions, subdivisions or other changes to farmland. They have to convince their local government to apply for changes on their behalf, as the new law defines only local councils, regional districts or first nations as “persons” to the commission.

RELATED: B.C. farmers aren’t ‘persons’ under new land legislation

RELATED: NDP suggests easing secondary home rules for farms

Changes in effect this week include “simplifying the ALC application fee process so Agricultural Land Reserve landowners only pay the local or first nations governments their portions of the application fee, and if these governments later forward the application to the ALC, pay the ALC directly for its portion of the fee,” says a bulletin from the ministry.

Dispensing with a two-zone system that relaxed secondary use rules outside B.C.’s highest productivity zones, the Okanagan, Lower Mainland and southern Vancouver Island, was a high priority for Agriculture Minister Lana Popham. She also led the reorganization of the commission to get rid of regional panels, arguing it led to exclusions based on local economic pressure.

Regional decision-making is described in a “chair directive” issued Thursday by ALC chair Jennifer Dyson. It names panel members for Interior, Island, Kootenay, North, Okanagan and South Coast regions.

The panels will “subject to other direction, decide inclusion, exclusion, use and subdivision, non-adhering residential use, and soil and fill use applications in each of the six administrative regions,” Dyson’s directive states.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Agricultural Land ReserveBC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Beefs & Bouquets, June 4

To submit a beef or a bouquet, email publisher@goldstreamgazette.com

Black bear sighting reported on UVic campus

University urging residents in the area to be careful

National Doughnut Day pays tribute to those on frontlines of First World War

The Salvation Army will be handing out doughnuts to community partners on Friday

MISSING: High-risk woman last seen on May 25

Police are asking for the public’s help in locating Jennifer Daughinee-Mendelson

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Plan in place for BC Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Alert Bay resident carves tribute to his community kicking COVID-19’s butt

‘Our little village crushed the curve with love and commitment’

End of an Era: Tofino hair studio closes shop

“We were getting excited to start ramping up and then all of sudden we had to close our doors.”

Kelowna Mountie on desk duty following ‘aggressive’ arrest

The officer involved in an arrest that took place on May 30 in Kelowna has been placed on administrative duties

Protests shift to memorializing George Floyd amid push for change

‘There is something better on the other side of this,’ says Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottom

Most Read