Small pro-ALR actions mount up

BCALRcitiesAs you may recall, the Agricultural Land Reserve has been at risk from an anti-ALR faction in the provincial government. We in Richmond keep doing what we can, and it does pay off for the common good. (Note: B.C.’s ALR farmland is shown in green at right.)

As attorney general a few years ago, Geoff Plant of Richmond bolstered the Administrative Tribunals Act. That was to stop governments from dismissing tribunal members without cause or curbing their independence.

When Richard Bullock, chair of the ALR’s tribunal, was fired without cause anyway, we asked West Coast Environmental Law to look into it. They termed it “illegal,” and they wrote the premier about remedies. That will add to Richard Bullock’s moral authority.

Lately the government released its revised ALR regulations. They’re consistent enough with earlier findings from wide and essentially well-done consultation. It revealed that B.C.’s farmers/ranchers, local governments and citizens—like us in Richmond—want a robust ALR. On balance, the new regulations cushion the harm from the anti-ALR bill that the anti-ALR faction managed to force into law last year.

Among other actions, many Richmond citizens have signed the online “Thank You Richard Bullock” card, as requested in my “Standing strong in the bizarre saga of the ALR” column. There are now almost 1,500 signatures of individuals and couples. Each time Richard and his wife Jacqueline receive the card with more signers, they read the names and think about the places and comments. We’re simply treating good people in the way they deserve, but success will come from it too.

Just days ago, Richard and Jacqui told us this: “It is a humbling experience to know that people really do care and really are concerned about our food and agriculture land in this province. We want you to know that the fight is not over and we will do everything humanly possible to insure the safety of our food and the preservation of our farmlands in British Columbia.”

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This post, which builds on Standing strong in the bizarre saga of the ALR,” my Richmond Review column of May 20 that is also on this blog, appeared as a letter in the Richmond Review of June 26 but not yet in the online Review. Just scroll down for more-detailed earlier blog articles on this topic.

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