May 7, 2015
VICTORIA – After trying to brush aside the issue, the B.C. Liberals have conceded that carbon credit schemes are a threat to B.C.’s Agricultural Land Reserve.
“Along with my colleagues on the Opposition Standing Committee for Agriculture and Food, I’ve been travelling around the province and hearing many concerns about large corporations planting trees for carbon credits in the ALR,” said New Democrat agriculture and food spokesperson Lana Popham.
After repeatedly minimizing the issue of inappropriate use in the ALR, the government has finally accepted that there is a serious problem, but is refusing to create legislation to address the issue and protect the land.
The Minister of Agriculture, Norm Letnick, has been underestimating by thousands of hectares confirmed in a government fact sheet released quietly on Tuesday.
Popham said the B.C. Liberals have allowed improper usage of A.L.R. land and need to step up and take action to rectify that.
“Serious problems require serious solutions. That’s why I will be bringing forward a private members bill that would require those who want to use ALR land for carbon offset schemes to go to through the Agricultural Land Commission,” said Popham. “The legislation would have the commission assess the proposed land-use and approve it only if it is in the best interest of agriculture.”
Popham will introduce the bill to the legislature prior to the end of the spring session.