Independent media needs you. Join the Tyee.

The Hook: Political news, freshly caught

Chilliwack farmland subdivisions broke provincial law: ALC report

The Agricultural Land Commission found the city of Chilliwack broke the rules for subdividing farm land 66 times between 1991 and 2009.

The commission, responsible for protecting farmland, released a long-awaited report this week that looked at some 250 boundary adjustments in the Fraser Valley city.

On March 28, 2008, John Les stepped down as the minister for public safety and solicitor general after the criminal justice branch revealed following a media inquiry that Les has been under investigation since June 28, 2007 in a matter related to land dealings in Chilliwack. Les was mayor of Chilliwack from 1987 to 1999.

“The most significant impacts of the boundary adjustment subdivisions on the agricultural land base occurred when very small, or non-buildable parcels, were reconfigured into larger, building lots for rural residential purposes,” the report said.

“By both introducing rural residential parcels and using arable land for residential purposes, the agricultural land base has been negatively affected.”

The report also found that out of 115 boundary adjustment subdivisions made in 97 B.C. municipalities between 2002 and 2009, 53 of them were in Chilliwack, more than in any other municipality.

In 1994 the city enacted a policy on boundary adjustment subdivisions that was contrary to provincial law, the report said. “Had this policy found its way into an official community plan or implementing bylaw, it would likely have been inconsistent with the ALC Act, which would under the ALC Act have rendered it as having no force or effect.”

There is, however, little the ALC can now do, the report said. “The ALC cannot turn back the clock and is compelled to accept that some agricultural lands in Chilliwack have been negatively affected by a number of boundary adjustments subdivisions made by the City.”

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

What have we missed? What do you think? We want to know. Comment below. Keep in mind:


  • Verify facts, debunk rumours
  • Add context and background
  • Spot typos and logical fallacies
  • Highlight reporting blind spots
  • Ignore trolls
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity
  • Connect with each other

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist or homophobic language
  • Libel or defame
  • Bully or troll
  • Troll patrol. Instead, flag suspect activity.
comments powered by Disqus