Official Opposition bill would encourage agriculture and protect food security

VICTORIA— New Democrat agriculture and food spokesperson, Lana Popham, introduced a bill on Tuesday that encourages food production on B.C.’s agricultural lands and establishes food policies that are needed in order for B.C. agriculture to be harnessed as an economic driver throughout the province.

“This bill would increase food production on our farmland and ensure that there is a stable market for that food here in B.C.,” said Popham. “By implementing a procurement policy for B.C. food within in our health care system, we would bring stability to B.C. agriculture, and in doing so would incent our important processing sector to expand and flourish.

“The Christy Clark government has missed the boat, so we’re forced to play catch-up and reverse the damage that the B.C. Liberals have done to agriculture over the past 15 years. This bill would eliminate the two-tier Agricultural Land Reserve that the Clark government created by transferring all ALR areas currently categorized in zone 2 into zone 1 and eliminate the zone 2 designation.

“Our province currently lacks a comprehensive strategy that ensures that we fully capitalize on our agricultural land base in a way that grows our economy.

“The B.C. Liberals failed to support this bill when it was introduced it in 2014. Since then, these issues have only become more important. Today, I encourage all MLAs to support the British Columbia Local Food Act, and show that they are willing to come together to support agriculture and increase our food security in this province.”

Here is a link to the British Columbia Local Food Act.