VICTORIA, B.C- The provincial government will be taking a look at land revitalisation in 2018.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Agriculture announced the formation of a committee to provide advice, policy guidance, and recommendations on how to “revitalize” the Agricultural Land Reserve and Agricultural Land Commission.

The reserve holds 4.6 million hectares of land within the province, which is meant for agriculture as the primary use.

The aim of the committee is to ensure the province’s goal of preserving agricultural land and to encourage farming and ranching in B.C. To that end, the group will be looking for feedback from provincial residents.

“As we embark on this consultation, our collective mandate is to ensure that the ALC and agriculture is positioned for the future,” said Jennifer Dyson, the committee’s chair, in a government news release.

“I am asking that each of our review committee members listen to what is being said, honestly, impartially, professionally and in a principled fashion. I am looking forward to the conversations.”

Starting in 2018, the committee will be taking on the following tasks;

  • Share a consultation paper to seek opinions and feedback on revitalizing the ALR and ALC;
  • Host regional meetings to hear opinions and feedback directly from the local farming and ranching communities in Abbotsford, Cranbrook, Fort St. John, Kelowna, Kamloops, Nanaimo and Prince George; and
  • Open an online consultation process to seek public opinion.

The input to the committee will be used to develop recommendations for consideration by the provincial government.

“The recommendations may include changes to the current legislative, regulatory, and administrative framework to revitalize the ALR and the ALC,” stated the release.

“Any legislative changes that support the revitalization of the commission and the reserve are targeted for late 2018 or early 2019.”