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

LNG Canada support far outweighs protests, CEO says

Andy Calitz vows completion on schedule at B.C. Natural Resource Forum

B.C. chiefs show solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Chiefs from around B.C. outside the Coastal GasLink pipeline route in Smithers show support.

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

‘Tripod’ delays access to Unist’ot’en camp

Social media rumours of cultural significance quashed, meaning police “exclusion zones” should end.

Hereditary chiefs negotiate injunction agreement

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs abide by interim injunction, but gate stays up. Still opposed.

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

Teravainen’s 3 points lift Hurricanes to 5-2 win over Canucks

Vancouver heads into all-star break on losing note

47 men arrested by Vancouver police for allegedly seeking sex with teenage girls

Seven of those arrested have been charged as part of a two-month operation

B.C. hospital apologizes for veteran’s five-day hallway stay

Clinical director of Victoria General Hospital says case of retired veteran ‘definitely excessive’

Speaker Darryl Plecas says ‘justice’ needed for legislature employees

Plecas spoke to media at the opening of a pedestrian and cycling bridge in Abbotsford Wednesday

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

‘Dr. Lipjob’ avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

LETTER: Seniors home care, day programs expanding, Adrian Dix says

B.C. health minister responds to latest Seniors Advocate report

Most Read