Opposition Standing Committee releases report on B.C. agriculture

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ag_standing_committeeVictoria, B.C. – Members of the Opposition Standing Committee for Agriculture and Food released their first report on British Columbia’s agriculture sector today at the B.C. legislature.

The Committee’s report summarizes public consultations held across the province over a period of six months and makes recommendations to the Legislative Assembly on improvements to agricultural policy in British Columbia. Presenters to the Committee included farmers, ranchers, industry representatives, policy experts and concerned citizens.

“We listened to a range of voices from different regions and made recommendations based on their feedback,” said Committee Chair and B.C. New Democrat spokesperson for Agriculture Lana Popham. “We heard no shortage of concern from presenters about climate change and food security, the lack of accessible meat processing facilities, non-resident ownership of B.C. farmland and costly dam regulations for ranchers,” said Popham. “Our recommendations highlight a number of areas in need of more attention from the provincial government.”

Committee Vice-Chair and Independent MLA Vicki Huntington said the Committee provided a forum for British Columbians to bring their concerns and priorities for agriculture to legislators.

“One of our obvious recommendations is to re-establish the Select Standing Committee on Agriculture, which the government disbanded 14 years ago,” said Huntington. “People across the province deserve a hearing when decisions are being made that affect the future of agriculture in B.C. The government could do a lot of good by simply reinstating the committee.”

Read the full report here.