The Kootenay Local Agriculture Society (KLAS), which consists of 67 members, including 18 farmers, is deeply concerned that the proposed amendments to Bill 24 still leave farm land divided into two zones (‘Letter blitz forces B.C. government to amend proposed ALR changes,’ 7 May 2014). The Kootenays remains relegated to zone 2 and hence open to industrial development. KLAS is also very disappointed that the “public consultation process” for Bill 24 appears to be over before it really began.
KLAS calls on Minister Letnick to scrap Bill 24 and to organize a meaningful public consultation process similar to the multi-year one undertaken to update B.C.’s Water Act. Legislation, including the enabling regulations, that will affect every single British Columbian, should be open to input from farmers and the general public. British Columbians want to eat wholesome food and not food produced on farm land contaminated by fracking, which is the type of industrial development Bill 24 is designed to permit.