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Changes proposed for ALC

Major changes are being proposed for British Columbia's Agricultural Land Commission for the first time since land protection laws were put in place decades ago.

Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett announced the proposed changes today in the legislature that would allow farmers to add value to their land, including adding options such as food processing.

The proposed changes are part of the Liberal government's core review of government spending, which Bennett is leading.

He says the changes involve dividing the provincial land commission administered zones into two, to better recognize the province's regional differences.

In Zone 1, where land is in greater demand, the commission would focus on protecting farmland, while in Zone 2, farmers would have more flexibility options for their farmland.

Bennett says the land commission will remain a fully independent tribunal and decision-maker on specific land uses within the Agricultural Land Reserve.

The Canadian Press

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