Oversight on gravel driveways show more consultation was needed on Bill 52

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham deserves some props this week, not a lot, but some.

She essentially admitted that there was a problem with Bill 52.

“In rural B.C. there’s often cases where farmers need to add gravel onto their driveways annually, because of weather conditions and climate up in the rural areas, and the driveways are long. So they would need to bring on fill onto their properties, onto their farms, in quite large amounts,” Popham told reporters at the legislature this week.

“In our legislation, we actually tried to stop dumping of garbage and fill on farmland. That doesn’t work in rural B.C. because it’s an annual process for them.”

Popham said that means paperwork annually and a fee annually and that they’ll be changing it.

“We’re going to tweak it, because that was great input.”

It’s not always easy to own up to something like that. Certainly, there are plenty of politicians presently who never own up to anything.

RELATED: It’s still OK to put gravel on your driveway, rural B.C. farmers told

However, you’d think that anyone who made it to Agriculture Minister, would know enough about living in a rural area, nevermind farming or ranching, to know that it’s a good idea to gravel your driveway somewhat regularly. There are plenty of other reasons why a farm or a ranch might want or need fill for everything from something as simple as compost or soil (a lot of Cariboo soil isn’t exactly the best-growing medium) to sawdust for calving pens to rock for dam maintenance.

Popham says “that’s the great thing about doing the regulations while you’re consulting because you can hear stuff, and then change it.”

Ironically, that’s exactly what the complaint has been; there was a lack of consultation on Bill 52.

The BC Farmland Owners Association specifically states “the farming community does not feel that their views and the reality of farming in the 21st century were accurately reflected in this report and in Bill 52.”

Having overlooked something as simple as gravelling a driveway and with Popham admitting that stopping fill on farmland doesn’t work in rural areas, it’s pretty hard to side with the government that there was enough consultation.

Now perhaps there’s an argument to be made that there was such a rush on agricultural land for mega-mansions in the Lower Mainland that immediate action was needed and that because of that there simply wasn’t more time for consultation. However, even if that was the case, there certainly wasn’t that same type of rush on agricultural land in the rest of B.C. They could have restricted the changes of Bill 52 to what was Zone 1 and left the rest of B.C., which was categorized as zone 2, until there was time for more consultation.

Max Winkleman is the editor of the 100 Mile Free Press.

Just Posted

Snowfall warning continues for parts of B.C.’s Interior

First significant snowfall of the season prompts Environment Canada warning

A full calendar of Christmas at Church of St Paul in Barriere

Cowboy Church, Carol Sing, Christmas Eve Candlelight Service and more

Barriere Curling Club’s 40th celebrated with stories and laughter

The large gathering at the Barriere Curling Club building on Nov. 23,… Continue reading

Stuff the Cruiser at Barriere Chamber during Late Night Shopping

Mark your calendars for Thursday, Dec. 12, when Late Night Shopping comes… Continue reading

Station House supports Barriere Food Bank with free cup of coffee

By Margaret Houben The Station House Restaurant is doing something special this… Continue reading

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

‘Norovirus-like’ outbreak interrupts Bantam hockey showcase in Greater Victoria

Several athletes were sent home, quarantined on the ferry

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Most Read