Lenore Newman, UFV’s Canada Research chair in food security and environment, has lengthy experience studying the Agricultural Land Commission and Agricultural Land Reserve and the impact of their 43-year history in BC.
Now she will have a chance to weigh in on its future as a member of a goverment-appointed independent commission that will review and make recommendations about the ALC and ALR.
“I’m very honoured to be playing a role in this important work. We must ensure that our farmland is protected for the next generation and beyond,” says Newman.
The following is an excerpt from the provincial government news release:
An independent committee with members from diverse agricultural backgrounds and experiences will lead the revitalization of the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) and the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) through an authentic and meaningful consultation process with stakeholders and British Columbians, Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham announced today.
“I am proud and grateful to have attracted British Columbians with the knowledge, expertise, passion and experience that the committee members possess for agriculture,” said Popham. “The ALR and the ALC are incredibly important to the health and economic well-being of our province’s future, and making it easier and more efficient for the commission to fulfill its mandate of protecting farmland and encouraging farming is a commitment the B.C. government is delivering on.”
The nine-member Minister of Agriculture’s Advisory Committee will provide strategic advice, policy guidance, and recommendations on how to help revitalize the ALR and ALC to ensure the provincial goals of preserving agricultural land and encouraging farming and ranching in British Columbia continue to be a priority. The committee will be chaired by Jennifer Dyson, with members from throughout the province with diverse agricultural knowledge and experience.
“As we embark on this consultation, our collective mandate is to ensure that the ALC and agriculture is positioned for the future,” said Dyson.“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.”
Beginning in early 2018, the committee will:
- 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 committee will use the input it receives during the consultation process to develop recommendations for the provincial government’s consideration. The recommendations may include changes to the current legislative, regulatory, and administrative framework to revitalize the ALR and the ALC. Any legislative changes that support the revitalization of the commission and the reserve are targeted for late 2018 or early 2019.
The ministerial mandate letter for the Minister of Agriculture identifies as a priority the revitalization of the Agricultural Land Reserve and the Agricultural Land Commission, an independent administrative tribunal dedicated to preserving agricultural land and encouraging farming and ranching in British Columbia.
Dr. Lenore Newman holds a Canada Research Chair in Food Security and Environment at the University of the Fraser Valley, where she is an associate professor in the department of geography and the environment and the director of the Centre for Food and Farmland Innovation. She runs a research program focused on farmland preservation, agriculture on the rural/urban fringe, culinary development, and food innovation, and consults widely on how to protect the world’s farmland while growing the agricultural industry. Her opinion pieces on the future of farmland use and other food-related issues have been published in the Globe and Mail, the Vancouver Sun, and the Georgia Straight, and her first book, Speaking in Cod Tongues: A Canadian Culinary Journey, was published in 2017. She holds a PhD in environmental studies from York University. Newman is a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s New College, and the patron of the Newman Heritage Farm. She splits her time between Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast.