Consultation sheds light on farmland changes

Relaxed farm leasing rules in rural zones, allowing breweries and distilleries are being considered in new regulations

The B.C. government allows wine and cider making on farmland

The B.C. government allows wine and cider making on farmland

VICTORIA – Since commercial production of wine or cider is allowed on farmland, why not a brewery, distillery or meadery?

Should energy co-generation be allowed on farms, using manure or other biodegradable waste to produce methane gas and carbon dioxide?

These are some of the questions included in the B.C. government’s consultation on changes to Agricultural Land Reserve regulations, released this week. Others deal with controversial proposals to allow specified non-farm uses, secondary residences and subdivisions without permission from the Agricultural Land Commission.

Developed after consultation with the B.C. Agriculture Council, local governments and the commission, the 11 questions offer more detail on changes the government is considering under legislation passed despite protests this spring.

The legislation divided the ALR into two zones, to permit more flexibility in the Interior, Kootenay and North regions (Zone 2) where both agriculture revenue and development pressure are lower.

One question asks whether farmland in all of Zone 2 should be able to be subdivided down to a minimum of a quarter section (65 hectares) without application to the ALC, as is now allowed in the Peace River and Northern Rockies Regional Districts in northeast B.C.

Another proposal is to allow subdivision without ALC approval where farmland is divided by a major waterway or highway, subject to a minimum size.

The province is also considering relaxing lease rules, which currently permit leasing of an entire farm property without ALC approval. The consultation asks if a portion of property should be allowed for lease to permit “intergenerational transfer,” where farmers retire on a portion of their land so their children can continue to farm the rest.

Another proposal for partial lease without ALC approval would allow unfarmed land to be brought into production. The partial leases would not require a formal subdivision.

Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick has emphasized that changes to the ALR are designed to support farming, not erode the protected agricultural land base.

Public input is being accepted until Aug. 22. The questions and a background paper are available here, where submissions can be made.

Comments can also be made by email to ALCA_feedback@gov.bc.ca or by Canada Post to ALR Regulation Consultation, P.O. Box 9120, Stn. Provincial Government, Victoria B.C. V8W 9B4.

 

Just Posted

Jared Popma recently streamed a live concert from the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre. (Ashley Daniel Foot photo)
21-year-old jazz artist talks favourite tunes and joys of music theory

Jared Popma recently streamed a concert from the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre

Vetch cover crop beginning to flower. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Vetch and crimson clover to the rescue of soil fertility

I add dry organic fertilizer as plants use up what is in the soil.

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson column: A shift in perspective can sometimes change everything

Have you even been forced to wake up at 5:30 on a Saturday

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

North Cowichan’s committee of the whole have rejected staff’s recommendation to limit the use of fireworks to Halloween. (File photo)
North Cowichan rejects limiting fireworks to Halloween

Municipality decides staff recommendation would be unpopular

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

A 58-year-old B.C. woman says she was attacked by a deer while out walking her dog last week. (Paul Chiasson/THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Deer attack in southeastern B.C. leaves woman cut, battered and bruised

Liz Royer says she was out for a run last week when the deer appeared out of a bush and charged

Most Read