ALR changes discouraging young farmers

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett’s MLA report to the 100 Mile Free Press

The Rusted Rake Farm was an ideal roadside restaurant that brought locally grown produce to the table for the local residents and tourists from all over the world.

With so few young people choosing agriculture for a living, the young couple that owned the 7.2 hectare working farm in Nanoose Bay raised a variety of mixed vegetables, fruit, beef, wheat and barley.

It was a popular meeting spot in a small community, and just the type of thing we need to support the next generation of farmers and entrepreneurs in our province. That is, until NDP Agriculture Minister Lana Popham caught wind of it.

Hundreds of people from across Vancouver Island gathered at the Rusted Rake for its final day in business on Sunday.

Owners Jodie Lucas and Will Gemmell became the latest victims of the regressive changes to the Agricultural Land Reserve instigated by the NDP since they returned to power a little more than two years ago.

“It means 15 people have lost their jobs today,” said Lucas. “Staff who have committed themselves to us. A community loses this establishment. I lose my job. It’s heartbreaking.”

Wishing to turn back history to the 1970s when the ALR was first imagined, Popham has been making life difficult for anyone wanting to pass their land, and their way of life, on from one generation to the next.

For example, the NDP are putting up roadblocks to anyone who wants to build a second home on their property in order to accommodate family members who want to take over farm operations, yet still leave their parents living in place.

At a time when the average age of a farmer in B.C is 56 years old, we shouldn’t be discouraging young people from putting locally produced food on the table.

For the Rusted Lake Farm, unfortunately, it’s already too late.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Age-Friendly presentation aiming to make pain-management a little easier

‘Having more tools to be able to cope with that pain is very helpful for people of all ages’

Electric charging stations in 100 Mile now open to the public

‘People have called from as far away as Kamloops’

Highway 97 re-opened near Alexandria after vehicle incident earlier

The road is cleared at Alexandria Ferry South Road

MISSING TEEN: Williams Lake RCMP ask public’s help in finding Angel Emile

Emile was last seen on Windmill Crescent in Williams Lake Jan. 16

VIDEO: WHO says China virus not global health emergency

The decision came after Chinese authorities moved to lock down three cities on Thursday

B.C. still struggling to control non-resident medical care fraud

Unpaid bills, out-of-province claimants a costly legacy of MSP

Father to B.C.’s first MLB hall-of-famer is one proud dad

Larry Walker Sr. talks baseball background and son’s base running gaffe

Councillor in Revelstoke withdraws proposed 67% pay hike amid backlash

There was significant backlash to the proposed $25,000 and $70,000 wages

Risk to Canadians of Chinese coronavirus low, health minister says

Five or six people are being monitored in Canada, including at least one in Vancouver

Uber, Lyft approved for ride-hailing in Lower Mainland

Kater Technologies Inc.’s application was rejected

VIDEO: ‘Porn’ answer was a wrong one for Surrey family on ‘Feud’ game show

Surrey’s Rams competed on the TV show Wednesday night

Abandoned boats left to freeze on Okanagan Lake cause chaos

Over the last week weather conditions have caused three separate incidents

Most Read