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Food Network hosts meeting
The BC Food Systems Network, in conjunction with Transition Town Comox Valley, welcomes everyone concerned with the future of food and farming in B.C. to a town hall meeting.
The meeting Feb. 26 from 7 to 9 p.m. is being held to discuss our food future and the Agricultural Land Reserve. It will be held at the Lower Native Sons Hall. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the event begins at 7:30.
Guest speakers Arzeena Hamir, Gerry McClintock, and Barbara Odegard will discuss the history and value of the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) and Agricultural Land Commission (ALC).
They will outline threats to food security, farmers and agriculture from proposed changes to the ALR and ALC that surfaced in the news media in November 2013. A question period will be included.
“Preserving our agricultural heritage is a top priority," says local organizer, Elaine Codling of Comox Valley Transition Town. "This is a beautiful valley with a growing population.
"The ALR ensures that we can continue to welcome newcomers to the valley without risking the farmland that is the very foundation of a healthy community. ”
Hamir, McClintock and Odegard are well aware of the value of the ALR in protecting farmland and agriculture. All three are local farmers.
Hamir is active in a number of agriculture and food security organization, including the BC Food Systems Network and the Comox Valley Food Round Table. McClintock is the president of the Comox Valley Farmer’s Institute and Odegard represents the Lazo-Comox Valley Women’s Institute.
Adds BC Food Systems Network co-chair Brent Mansfield, “We learned in November that the B.C. government was considering proposals to split up the ALR and decrease the commission’s power.
"We believe B.C.’s farmland protection system was done right in 1972 and should be retained for future generations." adds Mansfield. "It’s important to have a full and public discussion across B.C. to ensure that any proposed changes do not jeopardize food security today and into the future.”
For more information about town hall meetings in your area and the BCFSN and others efforts to ensure B.C. retains the ALR, visit www.bcfsn.org.
The BC Food Systems Network has hundreds of members in more than 20 food-related organizations representing farmers, food producers, health promoters, and citizens concerned with farming and food security in the province.
— BC Food Systems Network