Pre-rally ALR meeting packs hall [video]

Scroll to the bottom of the story to check out our photo gallery from the meeting

They came from every corner of the political spectrum. Farmers were sitting beside environmentalists, business people beside academics.

Agriculture is a huge driving force in the economy of the Cowichan Valley and they were all concerned about what is happening to farm land.

Recent announcements that the provincial government is looking at revamping the Agricultural Land Commission and the Agricultural Land Reserve have spawned so much discussion that a crowd packed into the United Church Heritage Hall in Duncan Wednesday night, Feb. 5 to learn about a big rally being planned for the grounds of the B.C. Legislature in Victoria on Family Day (Monday) and to talk about problems they see on the horizon.

One of the main ones is ensuring there’s enough local food produced on Vancouver Island to feed people in case of a disaster.

Another is that young people cannot afford to take up farming.

Farmer Dan Ferguson, a member of the panel, told the crowd that three per cent of the food sold on the Island at present is local. He spoke for many in the crowd when he commented, "I’m outraged. The ALR needs to be expanded, the ALC needs to be strengthened. Once it’s gone it will never be replaced," he said.

Nathalie Chambers said, "the largest obstacle [for young people looking to take up farming] is the price of farmland. There are people who want to farm but who simply cannot afford it. We need more people farming. Even school kids know we have only three days of food available on the Island."

The Food for the Future Rally to save the Agricultural Land Reserve will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on the grounds of the B.C. Legislature.

Check out www.farmlandprotection.ca for more information.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP arrests five suspects in multi-jurisdictional drug trafficking investigation

Cocaine, prohibited loaded handgun, weapons, stolen vehicles seized

Documentary on legendary Chief Tzouhalem to be filmed in Cowichan

Film is the latest project by Drama Camp Productions

Bottle drive Saturday to assist sick Cowichan teenager and family

Sammy Dubois, 14, disgnosed with rare neurological disorder

Editorial: Alternative approval process is not the enemy

Not everything should go to a referendum.

Provincial success stands out at Cowichan Secondary awards

Wrestling, basketball and field hockey teams earn recognition in shortened year

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

RCMP disarm man experiencing mental health crisis

The male pulled a knife on officers and then held it to his own throat expressing a desire to die

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Most Read