Industry sceptical because of changes to the land reserve,abrupt dismissal of Richard Bullock. The province has quietly launched a review of the BC Farm Practices Protection Act, consulting municipalities in advance of discussions with industry later this month.
Passed in 1996, the legislation has never been reviewed. Municipalities are welcoming the move but RegEns, executive director of the BC Agriculture Council, says industry is more sceptical of the province's motives following controversial changes to the Agricultural Land Reserve and its abrupt dismissal of former land commission chair Richard Bullock. "We're concerned," Ens says. "As a council, we don't have an official position, but in the industry there's a lot of scepticism."
The province contacted the BC Agriculture Council in early July, Ens says, and the council has met with ministry staff once to date. Consultations with municipalities followed, first with the four municipalities whose ability to pass bylaws affecting agriculture is regulated under the BC Local Government Act (including Abbotsford, Delta, Kelowna and Langley Township) and then unregulated municipalities.