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October 28, 2017 12:38 am

Resource Diversification Key

Thursday, January 21, 2016 @ 12:12 PM

Prince George, B.C. -When it comes to resource development,  it  isn’t all about  mining, natural gas and forestry products.

B.C. is well position to  take  advantage of  the  burgeoning agriculture sector.    With a diverse  agricultural base, that  ranges from berries to  grains, there are many possibilities.  Of course the access to  ports to ship product to  Asia  is also a plus.

“We need to think long, broad and big” says Michael Hoffort, President and CEO of the Farm Credit Corporation “In the next 15 years  the OECD says Canada will be one of only 6 countries that will produce more food than it  consumes, That’s an  incredible responsibility, that’s an incredible opportunity and I think we are  up for the challenge.”

Certainly  trade agreements are key  to   the growth in  agricultural exports, “The Trans Pacific Partnership is huge for us” says  Kevin Boon the General Manager  of the BC Cattlemen’s Association.  The TPP  opens up export opportunities  to the Asia Pacific rim

One of the challenges is to ensure  those in the agriculture sector  work with other uses of the land.  Many ranches in B.C.  utilize crown land for grazing. A cattle rancher could  be  using the same  land  that is also being used by  a  trapper,  oil and gas  companies or tourism.

Tourism  is the second  highest   economic contributor to  the province’s GDP,  second only to mining.  “Most  tourists come to British Columbia  for it’s natural landscape” says Evan Loveless, Executive Director  of Wilderness Tourism Association of BC.   That  scenery needs  to be preserved   for  the tourism sector to thrive.  Loveless  says all resource sectors are “important to BC economically and culturally,  we are all reliant on the same name  natural resources.”  He says  there needs to be more cooperation so the  multiple users  are not in conflict.

Co operation between multi- users  of the same land  is paramount “We have to understand what the other users are,  and how we can enhance that” says Hoffort,   he points to the wolf population, which has a negative impact on cattle ranching,  but may be of benefit  to  the fur trapping  industry  “But how do we  get the public to understand it’s not a sin to harvest them? But this something that has to come from the ground up, not  the top down.”

Cooperation   among  multiple  land users  is something the Province is working on  says Solicitor General Mike Morris.

Then there`s the matter of  making sure  those who are using agricultural lands, are using the land only for what they are  permitted for.

Enforcement  on lands in the Agricultural  Land Reserve  is difficult says Agricultural Land Commission Chair  Frank Leonard “I ‘d like to get to the point where our compliance officers  aren’t all in Burnaby, I’ld like to   get them out of Burnaby and get   them into the regions, so that  they were in Prince George, one week a month  and  in Peace River one week a month so we get them out in the jurisdictions ’cause you can only get so much with a phone call or an email.”



Evan Loveless . You really need to fact check . Start with credbc.ca . no wonder the country is in this mess when people in leadership positions don’t even know the facts .

I have no doubt that, in 20-30 years, the interior and northern regions will hold some of the most important agricultural lands in the BC. Climate change, water access and land prices are posing serious threats to the Okanagan, Island and Fraser Valley Regions.

Ataloss, stop quoting credbc.ca which is clearly a biased group. Reading a report, they only discuss direct jobs, no mention of indirect employment or even tax revenues earned by particular industries.

This is not a credible source to keep posting on all these articles. It’s a group which have a very specific interest on the lower mainland, and couldn’t care less about the rest of BC

pgjohn, leadnow is a member organization of credbc! That alone eliminates any credibility from credbc, haha!

Ataloss must have found a link to credbc while reading the Tyee!

jillianmerrick, I’m a bit amused by all of the concern for our region’s farm lands while Richmond is facing ongoing pressure to develop their ALR lands! I really get a kick out of lower mainlanders telling us to preserve our land, while they are paving paradise and putting up another parking lot!

“Canada will be one of only 6 countries that will produce more food than it consumes” .. maybe then we can actually get some produce that is grown in BC in some of our stores. Costco of all places seems to carry more “grown in BC” produce than “BCs Very Own Food People”. Remember that jingle? Potatoes, Apples, Strawberries from Washington and California when they are in season in BC, just to name a couple.

The ALR is/was our only hope of protecting our agriculture lands here and in the Fraser Valley. The former “Chair” of the ALR was pushed out, because he was fighting the rezoning of the ag lands.

What about all the thousands of hectors of rich farm producing land that will be under water, once Site C is completed???

What about all the thousands of hectors of rich farm producing land that will be under water, once Site C is completed???

They can’t think that far ahead.

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