DELTA (July 12, 2021) – Opposition Agriculture and Food Critic Ian Paton is pleased the NDP government has finally come to its senses on the issue of housing flexibility in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR).

“This is a prime lesson about the old adage, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’” says Paton, MLA for Delta South. “It’s somewhat laughable that Agriculture Minister Lana Popham is touting these changes as ‘new’ when they simply correct the mistakes the NDP made all on their own. The fact is, they didn’t consult on Bill 52 in the first place and rammed through legislation that didn’t work for farmers. Then, after they got backlash, they dragged farmers through three years’ worth of reviews and feedback exercises that destroyed their dreams and cost them precious time and money.”

Paton applauds the many farmers and advocates in the agriculture industry who made their feelings known, who helped bring about the changes announced today. He is glad to see the minister finally acknowledge that ALR landowners have unique needs and require flexibility to be successful in their operations.

Paton says he will continue to monitor further developments on this issue, to ensure any additional changes meet the needs of farmers.