Published in the Realtor News, August 28, 2015
Metro Vancouver moves to protect farmland from illegal fill
BC will face massive price spikes of up to 34% for fruits and vegetables as a result of the California drought, according to a report by Vancity.
To protect existing farmland for farming, Metro Vancouver is establishing a regional pilot project to protect agricultural land from the ongoing problem of illegal fill dumping on these sites.
Metro Vancouver has asked its 21 member municipalities to participate in a region-wide tracking pilot program.
Illegal fill crosses municipal boundaries and presents a risk to natural soils, our region’s long-term food security goals and our quality of life.
Municipalities are also considering the use of a consultant to:
- review Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) and Metro Vancouver regulations to see how to better collaborate;
- ensure there’s a consistent approach when it comes to municipal soil deposit bylaws; and
- review provincial funding to support effective ALC enforcement resources.
Why is protecting farmland necessary?
The goal is to save dollars at the cash register and ensure a ready supply of food.
California has undergone four years of intense drought and is no longer a reliable source of food. In BC, it’s vital that we grow our own food because we’ve been relying on insecure US food sources, for example:
- In 2010, 67% of BC’s vegetable imports came from the US. More than half was produced in California, including 95% of all broccoli and 74% of all lettuce.
- From 1996-2011 BC’s broccoli production decreased 52% and lettuce production decreased 34%.
For more information, read Metro Vancouver’s report, item 5.6, page 9.