ALR Review, Post 1

As we reported in “Richard Bullock new ALR boss” in June, the Agricultural Land Commission has a new chair. Not surprisingly, the appointment has been followed by action that could change the nature of the Agricultural Land Reserve. According to informed sources:

  • The commission will conduct a review of the ALR this fall.
  • On the basis of the review, legislation will be presented to the BC cabinet this winter.
  • A key area to be reviewed is activities designated as farm uses.
  • The changes could significantly impact/erode the ALR.
  • Besides the commission itself, only a group of hand-picked “strategic stakeholders” will participate.
  • The process will include no opportunity for public input.

In itself, the review is not necessarily a bad thing for the protection of either the Garden City Lands or the ALR. However, a secretive process without public input may be cause for concern.

A Friend of Garden City who finds it unacceptable urges action:

The only way that we will be able to be included at the table is if we speak now for a change to the review process to include public consultation.  One way is to write a letter. It will have impact. 

Please write today to state the concerns and request to the Premier, Minister of Agriculture Steve Thomson, and ALC Chair Richard Bullock, who is leading the review. If enough people speak up immediately and decisively, we will shift the process to allow for public input through formal means that will have to be included in the review report. It is important that the central message of your letter be about the need for public consultation. (It should not be a rant about what you think should be done to improve the ALR. That is for the review process!) 

Send your letter very soon to:

Premier Gordon Campbell
Premiers Office, Executive Branch
PO Box 9041 STN PROV GOVT, Victoria BC  V8W 9E1
Telephone: 250 387 1715.  Fax: 250 387 0087

Honourable Steve Thomson
Minister of Agriculture and Lands
PO Box 9043 STN PROV GOVT, Victoria BC  V8W 9E2
Telephone: 250 387-1023.  Fax: 250 387-1522

Richard Bullock
Chair, Agricultural Land Commission
133 – 4940 Canada Way, Burnaby, BC  V5G 4K6
Telephone: 604 660-7000.  Fax: 604 660-7033

Thanks for taking the time to write!

Reminder: That is the end of the call to action from a Friend of Garden City. It is not from me, although I’m sympathetic in principle to the intent.

For a follow-up post, see “ALR Review, Post 2.”


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