Farmland in B.C.’s Lower Mainland is under development pressure. (Black Press files)

B.C. farmland changes target ‘mansions,’ dumping waste

Minister Lana Popham confirms two-zone agricultural land reserve ending

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham is moving ahead with her commitment to get rid of Agricultural Land Reserve rules that permit more secondary uses on rural farmland.

Popham presented legislation Monday that she says will return the ALR to one zone across the province, and impose penalties to stop the dumping of construction waste on farmland.

The legislation also puts a 500-square-metre limit on new houses built on ALR land, to stop wealthy buyers from purchasing farms and building “mega-mansions” on them, Popham said. That problem has been noticed mostly in Richmond and the Fraser Valley, but can be found “anywhere there’s a building boom happening,” she said.

Relaxing the secondary use rules on farmland outside the Fraser Valley, southern Vancouver Island and the Okanagan was a change made by the previous B.C. Liberal government. They noted that those three prime farming zones generate 85 per cent of the province’s farm revenues, and created a second zone outside those areas with fewer restrictions on non-farm uses.

RELATED: B.C. farmland review creates two zones

RELATED: Popham vows to end two-zone ALR

Popham said that was “undermining” the ALR, and promised before a review of land reserve legislation that it would be ended.

The ALR protects just a sliver of B.C.’s land, only five per cent, and more than 90 per cent of that land currently is in zone two,” Popham said Monday.

Peace River South B.C. Liberal MLA Mike Bernier called the move a “a one-size-fits-all decision in Victoria” that will damage the viability of farms in his region and elsewhere in the province where farming is financially difficult.

“We’ve seen some success already, where people have been able to have a small shop with a few people working, like a water-hauling business in the winter time to help subsidize the farm,” Bernier said. “Almost every farmer in my region who has a side business on their farm uses those funds so they can keep farming.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

“Does Kirby care?” Heiltsuk Nation using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

“No excuse” for killing of two young grizzly cubs

Reader hopeful someone will come forward with information

UPDATE: U.S. firm fined $2.9M for fuel spill that soiled B.C. First Nation territory

The Nathan E. Stewart spilled 110,000 litres of diesel and heavy oils in October 2016

No delivery services hard on local families

New parents Candace Knudsen and Bjorn Samuelsen spent five weeks away from home

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Most Read