by Peter Mitham
VICTORIA – Victoria, which quietly initiated a review of the province’s Right to Farm legislation in 2015, has just as quietly shelved the project.
The change of government last year brought a change of priorities.
“Over the past year, the BC government has taken a fresh approach to preserving agriculture land in BC and encouraging farming and ranching,” communications staff with the BC Ministry of Agriculture told Country Life in BC. “Rather than looking at one aspect such as the Right to Farm Act, it was determined that a thorough review of the [Agricultural Land Reserve] and [Agricultural Land Commission] was needed.”
Officially known as the BC Farm Practices Protection Act, the legislation was originally passed in 1996 and has never been reviewed. The province undertook an initial round of discussions with local governments regarding the act, then sat down with industry in September 2015.
While municipalities welcome the review, noting that not all local governments were treated equally under the act, Reg Ens of the BC Agriculture Council was cautious.
“It’s definitely not perfect, but we want to make sure the ministry understands what they’re getting into,” he said at the time, likening the review to opening Pandora’s box.
Agriculture ministry staff said last year that the review pointed to a need to clarify the act and its regulations, which “are complicated and not always easily understood.”
Complaints brought forward under the act are adjudicated by the BC Farm Industry Review Board. These frequently involve noise, odour and other issues on the rural-urban interface.
Vol. 104 Issue 10
STORIES IN THIS EDITION
One province, one panel
Groundwater deadline extended
Happy as a pig!
Sidebar: Still waiting
Feds pour millions into tree fruit research
Sidebar: Will local procurement help?>
Editorial: Confined spaces
Back Forty: BC farmers need more than a land bank
Island Good campaign drives local sales
Poultry industry seeks to stop infighting
Egg farmers to receive biggest quota boost ever
New entrant focus
Decision day looms for chicken pricing appeal
Producers look to CanadaGAP for certification
Organic sector undertakes core review
Hopping to it!
Island couple named Outstanding Young Farmers
Turkey consumption continues to decline
BC potato growers enjoy a strong footing
Sudden tree fruit dieback a growing concern
Late season BC cherries in global demand
Farmers’ markets aim to be local food hubs
Field trial hopes to reduce phosphorus levels
Future looking bright for BC dairy producers
BC could benefit from US trade battles
Saputo puts its Courtenay plant out to pasture
The land of milk and salmon
Sidebar: Farming for the future
Out of the hands of BC farmers
Codes of practice need producer input
Preparation essential for wildfire response
Sidebar: Relief announced for drought, fire
Sidebar: Be FireSmart with these tips
New traceability regs to track movement
Agriculture a notable threat to species at risk
Improper pesticide use threatens access
Threat to neonics spurs scare in spud growers
Orchard presses forward with diversification
Staying on top of soil health is key to sound farming
No small potatoes
Farm families need to have affairs in order
Rotary parlours go upscale at two FV dairies
Study compares organic, conventional diets
Advisory service foresees growing demand
Sidebar: Tree fruit cutbacks a concern
Island dairy producers hone first aid skills
Woodshed: And that’s how rumours get their teeth
Research farm showcases small projects
Jude’s Kitchen: Shooting stars of spring