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
Hog farm won’t face charges
Okanagan drives land values
Where’s the beef?
Minister defends Bill 15 changes
Back Forty: Farmers, not just farmland, need revitalization
Editorial: No peace, no order
ALR restrictions make commuting a fact of life
Johnston’s Packers targeted by activists
Sidebar: When is a crime not a crime?
Berry growers get long-awaited funding boost
Proteobiotics reduce poultry, swine infections
Greenhouse growth stymied by gas prices
Increase farm productivity with cover crops
Ag Briefs: Water fees not evenly distributed among users
Ag Briefs: BC Tree Fruits prepares to relocate
Farmland trust explored for Island
New owner, same faces
Fruit growers cautiously optimistic on bloom set
Honeycrisp key to success for Golden Apple winners
Changes to slaughter rules taking too long
Going! Going! Gone
Local meat deamnd creating opportunities
Sidebar: Compost in 14 days
Ranch takes pasture to plate at face value
Market Musings: Technology has its challenges
Oliver veggie grower prefers wholesale
Grocer offers tips to get a foot in the door
Greenhouse veggie days a hit with school
Haskap research may help berry go mainstream
Research: Bee sensitivity linked to neonic pesticides
Fraser Valley orchardist calling it a day
Worming his way to the top of the heap
Mushrooms a viable crop for small growers
Island 4-H beef show celebrates 25 years
Woodshed: Deborah starts her vacation a golf widow
Brewery’s food program spawns farm project
Jude’s Kitchen: Celebrate dads!