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New chair to review Agricultural Land Commission

The newly-appointed chair of the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC), Richard Bullock, is conducting a review of the commission which will be presented to B.C.'s minister of agriculture later this fall.

Bullock was unavailable, but ALC executive director Brian Underhill told The Tyee that the chair is holding meetings over the next few weeks with stakeholder groups "to hear any and all comments and experiences."

Underhill said Bullock is carrying out the review because he is new to the organization and "hopes to become more familiar with the issues." He will provide his views and advice to Minister of Agriculture and Lands Steve Thomson in November, Underhill said.

"It may form a basis for government to discuss with the commission possibilities of ways in which to strengthen and improve the ALR [Agricultural Land Reserve] and ALC and that's the premise in which the chair is undertaking his review," Underhill said, adding that he could not speculate on what the minister might do with that information.

The stakeholders include "regional governments, agricultural organizations, NGOs that have an interest in land preservation and representatives of the development or real estate industry as well," Underhill said. "So he's looking at a cross section."

There are no plans for public consultations, but Underhill said anyone wishing to express their views can write to the commission.

Colleen Kimmett reports for The Tyee.

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