VICTORIA– New Democrat agriculture critic Nicholas Simons joined with other members of the New Democrat caucus and hundreds of concerned British Columbians for the “Food for the Future: Family Day Rally.” He released the following statement reaffirming the New Democrat Official Opposition’s support for protecting the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) and supporting local B.C. Farmers:
“More than 40 years ago leaders in this province had the foresight to look ahead to the future food needs of our province, and put the brakes on the destruction of British Columbia’s farmland. The political will and courage of communities, politicians and concerned citizens at that time resulted in the creation of the Agricultural Land Reserve, which has positioned British Columbia to better provide local food in an uncertain future.
“Now, when we see California suffering from the worst drought seen in at least 500 years, and with uncertainty from climate change threatening our food sources, it’s more important than ever for progressive voices to join together, to defend this legacy, and look ahead for another 40 years, and beyond, far into the future.
“British Columbia’s farmers and food producers bring incredible value to our economy and vibrancy to our communities. By providing both local jobs and local flavour they make our communities better.
“New Democrats are concerned that the B.C. Liberal government wants to bring in legislative changes to the Agricultural Land Commission that will change the ALR from a safe haven for agriculture to a land bank for developers.
“I know that farmers, local food lovers, and people concerned about the safety and sustainability of our food will continue to put wind in the sails of their elected representatives, pushing them to do the right thing and stand up for our food future.”