Who in Maple Ridge decides about the ALR (Agricultural Land Reserve)

October 28, 2011

Corisa Bell for Maple Ridge Council
Question asked at the Maple Ridge All Candidates meeting in Fraserview where candidates, including Corisa Bell, addressed specific questions.

Preamble: The following is taken directly from the Agricultural Land Commission Act –

Section 26[1] of the Agricultural Land Commission act states the following:

The commission may enter into an agreement with any of the following to enable a local government, a First Nation government or an authority to exercise some or all of the commission’s power to decide applications for not-farm use or subdivision with respect to lands within the jurisdiction of the local government, First Nation government or authority.

Further Section 26[5] states the following:

If the commission delegates its power to decide application sunder section 25 to a local government, a First Nation government or an authority by an agreement entered into under this section, the decision of the local government, First Nation government or authority is a decision of the commission for the purposes of this act.

It appears that if Maple Ridge city hall were so inclined it could apply to have a much greater say over Agricultural Land Commission Act decisions. As Maple Ridge council is made up of Maple Ridge residents it could be argued that this is a better way to go about ALR decisions that have a direct effect on local employment, tax base, and development would be made by local elected officials.

Question: If elected would you push to use section 26 of the ALR and have decisions made locally or do you support the current system that has ALR decision made by a non-elected body.

Council has the ability to assert influence over ALR decisions with or without formal legislation. I feel that a lack of term limits has fostered an environment where politicians do not want to stick their neck out on controversial issues in order to keep the peace and to try and win reelection. I feel this is why, at least in part, we have so many interest groups fighting over land, and why such groups turn to public petitions.

People elect council to make decisions on their behalf, and council themselves should study the reports, listen to all sides, and be able to make the tough final decisions. They can then be voted in or out in the next election based on the decisions they make, instead of riding the fence for reelection. If we have council members who can’t make decisions for the people, then what are they being elected and paid for?

I’ve proven repeatedly that I am not afraid to stand up and make tough decisions, regardless if it is in my best interest or not. I did this in the Fight Against HST and when presenting against Pitt Meadows council when I won the right to put up referendum signs.

If you elect me to represent you, you can count on me to do so.

Corisa Bell for Maple Ridge Council
Click here to download responses to all 9 questions in PDF form




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