Local Food Security and the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR)

Young Agrarians #FARMERS4ALR#FELFIEAfter a winter of discontent over proposed changes to the ALR, a window of dialogue appears to be opening up. Since his appointment as Minister of Agriculture on April 11th, Norm Letnick has promised a review of the changes proposed in Bill 24. The legislation proposes splitting the province into two zones. For Zone 1, current restrictions on development would remain in the South Coast, the Okanagan, and Island regions. Zone 2, in the BC interior and northern region, would see significant changes in how decisions are made in removing lands from the ALR.

Farmers in BC are saying no to the proposed Bill 24 changes to the Agricultural Land Reserve

Following closer scrutiny of the bill, and a change of leadership at the BC Agriculture Council, the group representing 14,000 farm families, withdrew their support of the legislation. Minister Letnick then met with the BCAC ALR Steering Committee on April 23rd and promised to renew the consultation process for at least two or three weeks while he reconsiders the legislation. Bill Bennett, the Minister Responsible for Core Review, insists that the consultation will not change the legislation. http://ht.ly/w8ZaV

A Call to Action

Farmers, grass roots organizations, scientists, and academics have all weighed in on this issue. Consumers and supporters of local farmers, processors, and artisans can add their voices to growing chorus of opposition to Bill 24. You can contact Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick, Premier Christy Clark, and Minister Bill Bennet and offer your opinion. norm.letnick.mla@leg.bc.ca ; premier@gov.bc.ca ; bill.bennett.mla@leg.bc.ca .

If you are a BC farmer or rancher you can provide direct input to the BCAC ALR Steering Committee by contacting your Director at info@bcac.bc.ca .


Closing of the Winter Market Season

IMG_2857Only one final market of the winter season – we hope you’ll join us on Sunday April 6 to help us celebrate the successful close of the Port Moody Winter Farmers Market!

To honour the contributions of our members that help keep the market an ongoing, vibrant gathering of food sustainability in action, the Port Moody Winter Farmers Market will be hosting a Membership Appreciation Day. It’s the perfect opportunity to sign up for (or renew!) your membership for the 2014-2015 market season. Membership only costs $10 (proceeds support our ongoing market activities) and gives you access to all the Member Specials offered by vendors.

“In a world full of memberships and rewards cards, the Coquitlam Farmers Market’s Friend of the Market program offers some unique specials so you may sample or try new products being made, grown, baked or raised in your community. Perhaps you can take advantage of a Member Special to buy a product that you’ve never before considered, maybe something you usually buy at the grocery store, for example: soap, cheese, salsa, meat or seafood. You’ll never find better quality than market products!”       – Christine Crosby, long-time Friend of the Market