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A new B.C. legislation that was introduced on Monday is looking to make it clear that land in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) is used for farming and ranching, not dumping construction waste or building mega-mansions.
If passed, Bill 52, the agricultural land commission act, will strengthen protections for B.C.'s Agricultural Land Reserve.
"The old government let wealthy speculators drive the price of farmland out of reach for young farmers and allowed some of our most valuable agricultural land to be damaged," said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. "We are protecting farmland in B.C. to ensure land is available now and for future generations of farmers, so people in British Columbia have a safe, secure supply of locally grown food on their tables for years to come."
The proposed legislation would aim to make three key changes seen below:
The legislative changes could help stop damaging practices that contaminate farmland and make farms unaffordable for new farmers. The legislation is designed to protect the province's farmland so British Columbians can access locally grown food, and communities and local economies can prosper through farming, ranching and agriculture businesses, such as B.C.'s growing food-processing sector.
The bill is part of the government's ongoing commitment to revitalize the ALR and the ALC. The new legislation will advance several recommendations in the independent report released by the Minister of Agriculture's Advisory Committee