OPINION: Farmers and ranchers deserve better

MLA Donna Barnett’s regular column for the 100 Mile Free Press

This week dozens of angry farmers and ranchers descended on the Legislature to demand the recall of new Agricultural Land Reserve rules that discriminate against family operations and take away basic property rights.

The demonstrators echo the concerns of farm families from across the province who are being told by the NDP that they no longer have the same freedoms they once had to make a living off their own land.

It began with the elimination of Zone 2 within the Agricultural Land Reserve that once provided farmers and ranchers with greater flexibility to earn more through non-farm activities like harvest festivals or selling products through on-site markets.

Zone 2 was also a recognition that we face a much different climate in northern B.C. than say Vancouver Island or the Lower Mainland, and that farmers and ranchers need more opportunities to earn due to a shorter growing season.

To make matters worse, those wishing to pass the family farm onto their children are now being told that new construction on ALR land is unacceptable. The NDP says it wants to prevent monster homes from encroaching on farmland, but it seems to me this government is more concerned with land use issues than helping the people we depend on to grow our food.

The NDP is conveniently overlooking the fact that the average age of farmers and ranchers in B.C. is 55, and many want to age-in-place yet still accommodate new homes for their children — and their families — on the same property.

Much to their dismay, farmers and ranchers are now reporting the presence of ALR enforcement vehicles roaming the land looking for infractions.

Rather than create a police-state to enforce rules and regulations, government should be doing everything possible to encourage and promote the next generation of farmers and ranchers. Our food security depends on it.


newsroom@100milefreepress.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

100 Mile House Wranglers beat KIJHL titleholders

The Wranglers beat Revelstoke Grizzlies 5-3, with Darian long getting a hattrick

Upcoming planned burns for 70 Mile House and 100 Mile House

Another 150 piles will be burned throughout the region before Feb. 15, 2020.

South Cariboo athlete in focus: Ashton Chretien

‘I practice a lot like at home and other activities through school or other coaches’

Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre aiming to raise $10,000 for annual Christmas campaign

Applications for a Christmas basket will be accepted from Nov. 12 to Dec. 10.

100 Mile House Wranglers beat Summerland Steam 5-3

It was the second time the Wranglers have won against Summerland this month

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Most Read