Paula Sobie

Fighting ALR changes with a Day of Action at the Kootenay Co-op

The Kootenay Co-op hosted a Day of Action to raise awareness about the provincial government's proposed changes to the ALR.

The Agricultural Land Reserve is facing changes by the provincial government and not everyone agrees with the government’s direction.  The Kootenay Co-op hosted a Day of Action on Saturday to raise awareness to the proposed changes. A petition was available for people to sign opposing Bill 24.

The proposed Bill 24, the 2014 Agricultural Land Commission Amendment Act includes creating two agricultural zones in BC rather than one.

The Fraser Valley, Okanagan Valley and Southern Vancouver Island would be deemed Zone 1, which currently 10 per cent of the ALR.

The rest of the BC would become Zone 2, which contains 90 per cent of the ALR.

Bill 24, Section 4 now requires that Zone 2 land use requests to the Agricultural Land Commission must include economic, cultural and social values; regional and community planning objectives and “other prescribed considerations” in their decision criteria.

BC Food Systems Network co-chair Abra Brynne thinks the government has not done a proper public consultation “for something as important as allowable land for growing our food.”

“Only five per cent of applications to use land in the ALR for expanded use come from farmers,” said Brynne.

“The other 95 percent come from industry and developers. [These changes] will leave land in the ALR too susceptible to cultural, economic and political pressures.”

Critics say this will open the door for the oil and gas industry in the north.

Bill 24 is going before the legislature when it goes back into session this week under new Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick.

The ALR was established in 1973 to protect BC farmland from development and accounts for less than five per cent of the provincial land base.

For more information, visit bcfsn.org.

Just Posted

10 RDCK incumbents seek re-election

Most rural directors want another term

Slocan Valley added to communities on flooding evac alert

Kootenay Lake is expected to reach flooding level in Nelson by Friday

Police searching for Nelson man

Brent Mickelson hasn’t been heard from since February

UPDATED: Hwy 3 west of Creston remains closed due to mudslide

A detour is available on the Kootenay Lake Ferry, but commuters could see wait times

Local police recognized for work

Eight officers were honoured for removing impaired drivers

VIDEO: Canadian Forces help flood-ravaged Grand Forks residents heal

Sgt. Bradley Lowes says the military is used to dealing with traumatic times

Chilliwack Chiefs make history with first RBC Cup win

In front of a huge and noisy crowd, the Chiefs claimed their first-ever national junior A title.

UPDATED: Majority of flood evacuees in Kootenay-Boundary allowed to return home

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

B.C. Lions bring back 6-time all-star offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye

He was acquired by the Montreal Alouettes last year.

Whitecaps rally for 2-2 draw with FC Dallas

Vancouver climbed out of a two-nil hole to tie FC Dallas 2-2

B.C. VIEWS: Making sense of climate policy

Flood and fire predictions have poor track record so far

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Most Read