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O&V: Will there be money for a replant program for orchardist fruit growers in 2014? Pimm: The replant program was supposed to be a three-year program, but was so successful we used the money in two years. Obviously, I don’t have exact timing (for a new program), but I’m hopeful we’ll be able to announce it sometime in 2014. That’s a big focus that I have at this time. O&V: The government recently announced another review of the ALR. What is the purpose of this review and what will it cover that wasn’t in the last review? Pimm: When I became Agriculture Minister I had a mandate to look at the ALR to make sure it’s working for B.C. In the Lower Mainland, I don’t think the land has been preserved enough. We certainly protect it in rural areas, but it’s very important that we look after the most productive lands. I also think we need a plan to get our farming families back into the farming industry. I want to see 30-yearolds back on the farm, and 20-year-olds, not leaving for other opportunities. O&V: There are concerns that the review will be used to make the withdrawal of ALR land much easier. Can you provide your thoughts? Fraser Valley blueberry fields.

Photos by the BC Government Ministry of Agriculture.

Pimm: We only have 5% of land in B.C. that’s in the ALR, period. In the most productive areas of the province (Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland, Okanagan) there’s only about 12% of the 5%. I think that we need to make a real strong statement that those lands are going to stay in it so that we have strong farming production. In those areas we have the most pressure on land. We also have about 80 per cent of farm receipts in those areas. I have no intention of taking the most productive farmland out of the ALR. If anything we may have to tighten up further in those most productive areas. O&V: Is the government looking to make substantive changes to how land is removed from the ALR or how the decision-making process occurs? Pimm: I really can’t comment too far on that as the core review has just started. We’re going to be proposing some things, and certainly we want to get some facts on the table as to what’s hap22 Year End 2013

B.C. and Canadian Agriculture Ministers Pat Pimm and Gerry Ritz announce funding to upgrade the B.C. Tree Fruits Cooperative packing line in Winfield, with BC Tree Fruit Co-op CEO Alan Tyabji and Kelowna MP Ron Cannan.

Orchard and Vine Magazine Year End 2013  

Year-in-Review: what happened in grapes, wine, apples, cherries, berries and more! Land, Labour and Liquor Laws. Pacific Agriculture Show S...

Orchard and Vine Magazine Year End 2013  

Year-in-Review: what happened in grapes, wine, apples, cherries, berries and more! Land, Labour and Liquor Laws. Pacific Agriculture Show S...

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