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
Right-to-farm case upheld
Snow puts the brakes on Peace grain harvest
Editorial: The hands that feed us
Back Forty: Saving farmland fruitless without water
Op Ed: US could learn a thing (or two) from Canada
Piece-rate study sets stage for payday changes
Photo: Day at the Farm
Berry growers report decent growing season
BCYAF grants support key 4-H initiatives
Ag Briefs: Winner
Local governments can’t undermine ALR rules
Winfield grower has ambitious cannabis plans
Province funds land-matching program
BC Fresh expands to meet national demand
Challenging year fails to daunt new producer
Corn trials focus on lower heat units for BC
When the right thing turns out to be wrong
Mixer-feeder offers all-in-one feeding option
Non-traditional forage mixtures promising
Small farmers network targets knowledge gap
Hazelnut renewal enters second phase
Research: Scratch that itch
Partners announced for farmers’ market trail
FV land limitations means higher density
Fair lives up to its farm roots
Pumpkin growers use crop to reach out to public
Wannabe Farmer: The usual gives plenty of cause for thanks
Woodshed: Wishful thinking as Caribbean holiday nears
Jude’s Kitchen: Fall heralds heartier meals, yummy appies