In the early 1970s, we were losing nearly 6,000 hectares of farmland a year. To protect the dwindling supply of agricultural land, the provincial government of the day (New Democrats) introduced BC’s Land Commission Act on April 18, 1973 and appointed the Agricultural Land Commission. A special land use zone was established and called the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). The ALR covers nearly five million hectares, about five percent of the province: public and private lands that have the best potential for agriculture.
Tomorrow night at a dinner organized by the Farmland Defence League of BC, we will be honouring one of the founders of the ALR, Harold Steves. Harold is one of my local heroes, a farmer himself, a powerful food security and farmland preservation advocate, a tireless and effective Richmond City Councillor and well, his list of accomplishments is long. There’s plenty for the list of stellar speakers to toast.
The dinner is Sunday, April 17th from 6 to 9:30 pm at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery in Steveston – yes, the town is named after the Steves family. For more information, contact Donna Passmore at firstname.lastname@example.org/.