Media Release: Opposition Committee hears agricultural concerns in Cranbrook



MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release
June 14, 2016

Opposition committee hears agricultural concerns in Cranbrook

Cranbrook  The Opposition Standing Committee for Agriculture and Food heard from farmers, ranchers, and food security advocates that the government has a responsibility to work in partnership with the food community to improve the conditions required to promote local food.

“Today we heard loud and clear that the East Kootenays can produce an abundance of food and there is potential to do even more with the right policies in place,” said MLA and Committee Chair Lana Popham. “We heard from producers about many of the challenges they face, and far too many of those challenges are hurdles placed in their way by government policy or inaction."


Presenters spoke on issues including increased costs, ineffective or over-restrictive regulations, conflicts on the land base, lack of extension and field services, and lack of government-supported agricultural education programs with a focus on production in this region.  

They also heard of successes in the region that include: innovative food education programs; bringing together food producers and consumers; their hopes for better incentives for improved agriculture and environmental practices; and the Cranbrook Farmer’s Market being a $1 million dollar economic driver. There was also an interesting suggestion that government consider examining carbon credits for agriculture. 

“We continue to hear everywhere that we have yet to find that elusive policy mix which balances the competing values on our land base,” says Committee Vice-Chair and Independent MLA Vicki Huntington. “There is a lot of work needed to ensure that we have the data we require, the ability to support good decision making, and the facility to support a range of values, particularly as it impacts agricultural production and the environment."

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Media Contact: Marielle Tounsi – 250-818-5172

BC Opposition Standing Committee for Agriculture and Food is comprised of:
Lana Popham, MLA for Saanich South and Opposition Spokesperson for Agriculture and Food (Chair)
Vicki Huntington, MLA for Delta South (Vice-Chair)
Robin Austin, MLA for Skeena
Raj Chouhan, MLA for Burnaby Edmonds
Katrine Conroy, MLA for Kootenay West
Nicholas Simons, MLA for Powell River Sunshine Coast (absent)

Website: bcagcom.ca

Opposition Standing Committee for Agriculture and Food, First Report, November 2015


Chilliwack June 2015: From the Highlight Reel