Message from the Minister and
I am pleased to present the 2005/06–2007/08 Service Plan for the Agricultural Land Commission. The Commission consists of 19 members entrusted by the government to preserve agricultural land and to encourage and enable farm businesses throughout British Columbia. Although the Chair reports to me, the Commission operates with a high degree of independence within the framework of the Agricultural Land Commission Act.
This year's Service Plan for the Commission renews its focus on the preservation of British Columbia's limited agricultural land base. The Commission strives to make the most effective use of the tools it has for this purpose, including managing land use changes within the Agricultural Land Reserve and reviewing plans and policies of others that impact on the Reserve. To maximize its effectiveness, the Commission does not work in isolation but invests in maintaining and strengthening its relationships with partners and stakeholders including local governments, ministries, public agencies, land owners and First Nations.
Over the past year, the Commission has made a significant effort to focus resources on agricultural land preservation and to position itself to deal with the challenges ahead. The Commission recently concluded its role in the regulation of private forest land, which is now managed by an industry/government partnership. Government and the Commission have implemented a process to enable First Nations involved in treaty negotiation processes to make applications to the Commission.
A land base reserved for farming is key to growing the agricultural sector and to providing a safe and secure food supply. I anticipate that the Commission will continue to play the lead role in agricultural land preservation and to make positive contributions to the government's goals of safe, healthy communities, a sustainable environment and a strong and vibrant provincial economy.
The 2005/06–2007/08 Agricultural Land Commission Service Plan was prepared under my direction in accordance with the Budget Transparency and Accountability Act. I am responsible for the basis on which the plan has been prepared. All material fiscal assumptions and policy decisions as of January 31, 2005 have been considered in preparing the plan and I am accountable for achieving the specific objectives in the plan.
Honourable George Abbott
Minister of Sustainable Resource Management
February 3, 2005