am pleased to present the 2004/05 – 2006/07 Service
Plan of the Agricultural Land Commission, an agency reporting to
me but operating under its own enabling legislation, the Agricultural
Land Commission Act. The Commission is charged with preserving
agricultural land and encouraging and enabling farm businesses throughout
It accomplishes these goals by managing the Agricultural Land Reserve
(ALR) in partnership with local governments, public agencies and
other stakeholders. A protected land base provides opportunities
for the expansion of agriculture and other compatible activities,
to help achieve economic growth throughout the province.
The Commission's Service Plan goals support the government's goals
of "a strong and vibrant provincial economy" and "safe, healthy
communities and a sustainable environment."
The Commission has worked hard over the past year to bring its
decision-making closer to those affected by its decisions. Commissioners
have met with hundreds of applicants on their lands, and with many
of the local governments who have joint responsibility for land
use regulation of the ALR. It has worked closely with many of its
stakeholders, including some First Nations that are at the
agreement-in-principle stage of treaty negotiations. The Commission
has delegated some decision-making for oil and gas development in
the ALR to the Oil and Gas Commission, while ensuring the agricultural
land base continues to be protected.
Growth in BC's agriculture sector has outperformed growth in many
other economic sectors. A secure land base provided by the ALR is
critical to the continuing growth of this sector. The supply
of safe, high quality, BC farm products and economic opportunities
in our rural and urban fringe areas will be assured through the
ALR. BC's reputation for quality food exports from this land base
will continue to rise.
Government supports the growth of agriculture, its jobs and its
contributions towards sustainable communities and economies. The
work of the Agricultural Land Commission and its partners in land
use planning is fundamental to the achievement of a strong and vibrant
agricultural economy in BC.
Honourable George Abbott
Minister of Sustainable Resource Management
February 4, 2004