Saturday, January 6, 2018

B.C. land reserve due for review

The British Columbia government has named eight people to a commission that will review the legislation that prevents development on 4.6 million hectares of farmland.

It will hold public hearings this year and submit its report, probably sometime next year.

One controversial issue is the previous Liberal government’s policy to divide the North and South with less protective provisions in the Northern region such as the Peace River and Kootenays.

Some members of the ruling NDP have been critical of the relaxation of farmland preservation in the North.

The reserve, which is about five per cent of British Columbia, is administered by the Agricultural Land Commission.

The review team is independent of the commission.

When British Columbia set up the reserve in the early 1970s, it asked the federal government for special subsidies to provide cost-of-production price guarantees for farm products, but was turned down.