Hurray for the ALR consultation results!

The Ministry of Agriculture has published a thorough analysis of its public consultation about changes to the ALR Regulation, which accompanies the Agricultural Land Commission Act.

It is gratifying to see that so many respondents throughout British Columbia have put so much thought into their input. I was particularly happy to see in the responses to question after question that there was general agreement on the kinds of views that I and the B.C. Food Systems Network and the Garden City Conservation Society came up with.

The results also amount to a massive vote of confidence in the Agricultural Land Commission. An example: A number of times, respondents around the province expressed agreement about an update in principle but cautioned that the particular situations should still be approved by the ALC. I don’t think we were trying to vote, but we did have confidence in the ALC, and that came through quite powerfully.

If you would like to go through the results yourself, you could start with the press release, “Summary of consultation on ALCA regulations now online.” It will link you to the Summary of Stakeholder Input.

You may have read my August article titled “Consultation is limiting Bill 24 harm to ALR.” There were other informed people who bemoaned some shortcomings of the consultation, and I did point some out to the project leader, who actually made a very helpful change right away when that was possible without compromising the survey reliability.

Norm LetnickThis new stage, the consultation summary, is well done again. It will win over some doubters. Now we just have to hope the process stays in the hands of agriculture minister Norm Letnick and the capable project team.

The consultation was prompted by Bill 24, “the bill to kill the ALR.” Bill 24 cried out for an antidote, and the consultation is a timely one. For lots of articles that fill out the story of Bill 24 and this subsequent step, go to our Bill 24 section.

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Update, October 3: I notice that Black Press legislative reporter/columnist Tom Fletcher has an article summarizing the ALR consultation results. It is actually useful, in contrast to Fletcher’s columns on Bill 24 and the ALR consultation. It is titledOpposition strong to expanded farm uses.”

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