The Ministry of Agriculture invited public comment on developing the Agricultural Land Commission’s (ALC) fee structure to support the ALC’s evolution into a more self-sustaining organization.
The survey sought comments on four areas that had been identified as possible sources to augment the provincial funding they receive:
- A review of existing ALC application fees, implemented in 2002, for exclusion, subdivision, non-farm use and utility corridor applications;
- A new service fee to support the ALC’s work to ensure that criteria on conditionally approved applications are met;
- A new fee for the ALC’s ongoing monitoring and site inspections of long term approvals; and
- A new fee for the ALC’s oversight and administration of delegation agreements with local governments and other authorities.
The funding derived from these sources is intended to provide the ALC with the ability to focus on its core mandate of encouraging farming, as well as improving compliance and enforcement activities, online resources, training for staff and commissioners and conducting targeted Agricultural Land Reserve boundary reviews. The survey provided an opportunity for British Columbians to contribute to the strengthening of the ALC.
Selected industry stakeholders, as well as local governments and First Nations, were also invited to provide their views separately.
June 18 to July 8, 2012
The Ministry received 49 responses, with over 70% in favour of increasing fees.
Input leads to action:
The amended fee structure is the latest step in a comprehensive reform package for the ALC that began in November 2011. This package includes a $2.5-million increase in the commission’s base budget ($4.5 million annually) since 2012 to support the ALC’s focus on its core functions of preserving farmland, encouraging farming and farming’s transition to a more sustainable operating model.
The new fee structure reflects the principle of cost-recovery while helping ensure that the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) is capable of fulfilling its entire mandate through:
- Protection of farmland;
- Encouraging farming with proactive planning;
- Compliance and enforcement;
- Effective administration of application processes;
- Monitoring conditionally approved applications; and
- Auditing delegated decision-making agreements.