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Postmaster, Please return Undeliverable labels to:


Country Life in BC 36 Dale Road Enderby, BC V0E 1V4


Vol. 105 No.4


CANADA POST


Postage paid Publications Mail 40012122


POSTES CANADA


Port payé Post-Publications


POULTRY OYF


DAIRY


Poultry industry seeks to stop infighting


Island couple named Outstanding Young Farmers Saputo puts its Courtenay plant out to pasture


7


13 24


SPRING TIME IS PLANTING TIME!


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The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 APRIL 2019 | Vol. 105 No. 4 One


province, one


panel


ALC governance to change by PETER MITHAM


VICTORIA – A second round of changes to the Agricultural Land Commission is in the works that will eliminate the system of six regional panels the BC Liberals established in 2002. The change headlines a bill


HAPPY AS A PIG: Spring fever is in the air at Lentelus Farms on Vancouver Island where this little piggie is squealing with delight at the return of warmer weather. Lentelus, appropriately enough, means "joy of spring." DAVE SEMMELINK PHOTO


Growing more with less water Groundwater deadline extended by PETER MITHAM


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VICTORIA – Thousands of BC farmers and ranchers at risk of losing their priority water rights at the end of February aren’t outlaws after all.


For the third time in as


many years, the province extended the deadline for registering existing wells and applying for groundwater licenses until March 1, 2022. The surprise move came February 19 as the March edition of Country Life in BC hit the press. It followed growing


calls for the province to extend the deadline, given that fewer than 500 licenses had been issued for the 20,000 wells the province expects to register. “We are very pleased that


government listened to farmers and ranchers and extended the licensing period,” said Reg Ens, executive director of the BC Agriculture Council. “There are still a lot of people who are having difficulty with the application process. We hope that government will assign more staff for processing to


speed up approval of completed applications.” Groundwater users who did


not register their wells by the end of February would have lost their priority access to groundwater under the province’s new first-in-time, first-in-right (FITFIR) system under the Water Stewardship Act of 2016. The system aims to protect


groundwater by giving right of first use to the oldest wells; junior rights fall to more recent wells. Should an aquifer


See DEADLINE on next page o


BC agriculture minister Lana Popham introduced March 7. It was one of the first government bills tabled in the current sitting of the legislature, underscoring its priority on the government’s agenda. “This bill will strengthen the independence of the commission and improves the governance structure, enabling it to better advance its important mandate to preserve


See ALC on next page o


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