Letter: Municipalities play key role in protecting farmland

Applications for farmland exclusions divide community. (THE NEWS/files)

Re: editorial in the March 28 Observer on farmland.

The Union of B.C. Municipalities met with the Agriculture Advisory Committee on March 22 and made the following recommendations.

1) Recognize that local governments are a key component of agriculture planning and protection in B.C. and that through consultation with local governments is a integral aspect enabling a robust and effective Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) and Agriculture Land Reserve (ALR).

2) Endorse the critical role of local governments in preserving farmland through land use planning and bylaw enforcement.

3) Support the principles of consistency, fairness, and transparency in the governance of agriculture lands, and endorse the critical importance of local decision-making in agricultural land use planning.

4) Examine if the production of recreational cannabis is the best use of B.C.’s limited agricultural land.

5) Consider revisions to the farm class system, the issue of farmland speculation, concerns regarding residential uses in the ALR, and food security.

John McLeod

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