BC Government makes surprise ALC announcement
It’s a move the was not welcomed by everyone — including Richard Bullock, the outspoken chair of B.C.’s Agricultural Land Commission who was terminated from his position by a phone call Thursday.
Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council has appointed Frank Leonard as new chair of the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC).
Leonard is a former mayor of Saanich.
Bullock had been in the job for five years and his term wasn’t due to expire until November.
Leonard was first elected mayor in 1996 after serving on council since 1986. While in public office, Leonard chaired the Municipal Finance Authority of BC, was president of the Union of BC Municipalities and a director of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
He has also chaired the Capital Regional District, the Hospital District, the region’s Housing Corporation, the Saanich Police Board, and has served on the Regional Transit Commission. He has also served on numerous recreation, arts, and community boards.
Over 1,800 hectares, or almost 20%, of Saanich’s land base is located within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). Under Leonard’s leadership Saanich Council continued to build on the region’s agriculture heritage, with policies supporting local food production in both rural and urban areas, as reflected in Saanich’s Official Community Plan.
Leonard was also a past co-chair of the Farm Assessment Review Panel, which looked at the farm classification process and regulations for municipal tax purposes.
The government announced Bullock’s replacement with a press release that made no mention of his by name;
The government instead focused on the new chair, Leonard, a former tire-store manager who has served as president of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce and is a former mayor of Saanich.
The ALC is an independent administrative tribunal responsible for administering the province’s Agricultural Land Reserve.
The commission’s mission is to preserve agricultural land and encourage and enable farm businesses throughout B.C. The ALR is the largest it has ever been in its history, with more than 4.7 million hectares set aside for farming. The land in the ALR has increased by 38,000 hectares since 2001.