MLA: Kootenay residents’ ‘battle cry’ to save agricultural lands

'There is a battle cry ringing throughout the Kootenays as people across this region stand up to fight to protect our agriculture lands'

By Norm Macdonald, MLA for Columbia River–Revelstoke

There is a battle cry that has been ringing throughout the Kootenays over the last number of days as people across this region stand up to fight to protect our agriculture lands. What people are saying is Kill Bill 24!

On March 27, the BC Liberals, led primarily by the Kootenays’ own Bill Bennett, introduced Bill 24, legislation that could effectively eliminate the protection of any agricultural lands in this area. And, in what Mr. Bennett undoubtably believed was a terribly witty comment on food production in our area, he claimed that the only thing that grows in this area is hay.

Anyone who has attended a local farmers’ market knows that there is a tremendous abundance of food grown in this region. And anyone who has stood in a long line-up in front of a produce stand on market day knows that the demand for locally-grown produce is very strong.

What we need is access to more agricultural land, not less. What we need is more support and assistance for farmers and ranchers, not less. And what we need is more incentive to increase food production and develop facilities for food processing and storage, not less.

But rather than responding to our desire to improve access to locally-grown food, this government has complicated meat inspection regulations for small-scale producers, refused to assist local ranchers in developing community-based abattoir facilities, and made it even easier for existing agriculture land to be removed from the protection of the Agricultural Land Reserve.

We are becoming more and more aware that our current food system, which relies on industrially-produced food travelling over vast distances, is not sustainable. And forward-thinking agricultural pioneers in this area are doing their best to develop a sustainable local food system right here in the Kootenays.

If you support local food production, it’s time for everyone of us to say Kill Bill 24!  We may find that 30 years down the road saving this agricultural land today is the best way to ensure we can feed ourselves in the future.

Tell the Premier what you think by sending an email to premier@gov.bc.ca. Don’t let this government take away this precious local resource.

Norm Macdonald is the MLA for Columbia River–Revelstoke

 

Just Posted

Revelstoke elementary students cast votes in mock election

Begbie View and Arrow Heights Elementary took part in the vote

InVertigo playing The Last Drop Friday night

Rock’n’roll band once again coming to Revelstoke

Kootenay-Columbia candidate cautious after getting threats

Trev Miller of the Animal Protection Party carries on campaigning under shadow of threats, abusive emails

YouTube video of Revelstoke grizzly bear goes viral

Why did the grizzly bear cross the railway tracks?

Federal candidates talk most pressing issues in Revelstoke

Concerns include jobs, logging, climate change, affordable housing, Highway 1

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

One year later: Vernon pot stores look back at legalization

Edibles made legal on first anniversary of recreational cannabis

Memorial remembers North Okanagan’s most marginalized

Prayers and flowers for those who have died on the streets

Two years later, City of Fernie remembers

Oct. 17, 2019 marks two years since the tragic ammonia leak at Fernie Memorial Arena

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

Great Vernon Pumpkin Race to star in South Korean documentary

Pumpkin Classic event to kick off this weekend with gourd weigh-ins

ELECTION 2019: Have Justin Trudeau’s Liberals really cut middle-class taxes?

Conservative Andrew Scheer vows to cut bottom bracket, NDP’s Jagmeet Singh targets wealth tax

Most Read