New Options for Residential Flexibility in the ALR

In January 2020, the Minister of Agriculture announced that the Province is considering a new direction for residential flexibility for ALR land owners.  The allowance for both a principal residence and a small secondary residence is now being explored.

For more information on the new ALR residential options and the specific conditions of each option (such as size, siting, and quantity) that are being considered by government, please refer to the Ministry of Agriculture Policy Intentions Paper, Residential Flexibility in the ALR.

2019 Ministry of Agriculture Engagement Process

The Ministry of Agriculture engagement process closed in November 2019.  A "What We Heard Report" is available here.

Bill 15, Agricultural Land Commission Amendment Act

Bill 15 removed the ability for private land owners to submit exclusion applications.  UBCM identified concerns to the Minister [PDF - 76 KB] and a response [PDF - 32 KB] was received.

Cannabis Production in the ALR

In May 2019 the ALC released their “Revised Information Bulletin 04 – Cannabis Production in the ALR.” At that time, UBCM became aware that, effective February 22, 2019, the Agricultural Land Commission Act and the ALR Use, Subdivision and Procedure Regulation (now the ALR General Regulation) were amended, and the ALR Use Regulation was created.

Within these amendments, the provincial policy on cannabis production in the ALR shifted in order to recast all cannabis production in the ALR as farm use – meaning that applications to the ALC are no longer required for any form of cannabis production.

Local governments retain the ability to prohibit and/or regulate if cannabis production is not: outside, in a structure with a soil base, or in a structure constructed (but not altered to increase its size) or authorized for construction before July 2018.

The UBCM Executive discussed this issue at their May 2019 meeting and conveyed a letter [PDF - 196 KB] to the Province outlining concerns and a number of questions regarding the lack of consultation, delay in informing local governments and implications for local monitoring and enforcement. A response [PDF - 41 KB] was received in July.

Previously, in 2018, the Executive conveyed a letter [PDF - 93 KB] to the Province which indicated support for a moratorium on the production of non-medical cannabis on ALR land until the provincial government undertakes a comprehensive review and broad consultation with local governments.

Revitalization of the ALC & ALR

In 2018 an independent committee was formed to oversee a public engagement process and provide recommendations to the Province to ensure the provincial goals of preserving agricultural land, and encouraging farming and ranching, are maintained and improved.  

In March 2018, UBCM presented a submission [PDF - 124 KB] to the Advisory Committee.  The presentation focused largely on the critical role of local governments in preserving farmland and farming industry in BC and was well-received by the Committee.

The Committee's interim and final reports are available here.

Commercial Dog & Cat Breeding

In April 2016, the provincial government announced the creation of a new regulation to recognize a Code of Practice for kennel and cattery operations in BC.  As part of the consultation process, UBCM made a submission [PDF - 138 KB].


Danyta Welch
250 356-5193