Protecting farmland in perpetuity is the provincial interest, but it is only half the issue. Ensuring farmers can afford to farm is the vital other half. When farmers aren't making a living, when they can't afford to feed themselves, they are forced to make choices that may put their farmland and the provincial interest at risk.
Bill Bennett, minister responsible for the B.C. government's core review, is trying his darndest lately to reassure British Columbians that the government "has no plans to dismantle" the Agricultural Land Commission and that much of the speculation was simply the result of government "brainstorming." That's nice. Doesn't mean much in government-speak, but it sounds comforting. It's what comes next that should be of concern. In an interview with the Globe and Mail on Tuesday, Bennett confirmed that the Commission would, however, be subject to the government's core review.