Thursday, November 21, 2013

Metro Vancouver and the ALR

Last week, I posted about how critical the Agricultural Land Reserve is for the long term success of our region. I also posted about how the Provincial government is looking at dismantling the Agricultural Land Commission which would have a disastrous effect on sustainability in our region and the rest of the province. It appears that Metro Vancouver feels the same way. I thought I’d share some quotes from their latest Regional Planning and Agriculture Committee Meeting.

The ALC is a critical partner for implementing Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) “Metro Vancouver 2040 Shaping our Future”, adopted by the Board on July 29, 2011. The RGS explicitly states the importance of protecting the supply of agricultural land and promoting agricultural viability in collaboration with the Province and the ALC. The policy to maintain the Urban Containment Boundary not only helps to concentrate growth in urban areas, but also provides predictability and efficient use of financial investments in utility, road and transit infrastructure. In addition, lands designated for agriculture are essential for agriculture economic development, food security, as well as the future well-being of residents.

[The Regional Planning and Agriculture Committee recommends] that the Board request that the Minister Responsible for Core Review and the Minister of Agriculture:
a) ensure the Provincial Core Review process protects and enhances the Agricultural Land Reserve and Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) in support of mutual objectives to protect the region’s supply of agricultural land and promote agricultural viability;
b) reconfirm the Provincial 2013 budget commitment to provide the ALC an additional $4 million over three years to support the ALC in providing better oversight over the Agricultural Land Reserve including working with local governments to encourage farming; and
c) ensure adequate consultation opportunities for the Metro Vancouver Board and all local governments in the region.

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