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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

DOUG CLOVECHOK: I support the preservation of quality farm and ranchland. But we should not have a minority government stripping the rights of private landowners no matter what the circumstances

There has been a ton of conversation on my Facebook page about the ALR (Agriculture Land Reserve), it is great to see this. It is an important topic, I'm glad there are many voicing their thoughts on the legislative changes the BC NDP government have moved forward.

If I may, I'd like to give another 2 cents to this topic...thanks to Stu S. for asking for more of my thoughts

I believe we do need to ensure we have enough quality farmland in Canada to grow the food needed for our population. As a matter of fact, I believe it needs to be a priority. However, ensuring we have enough food farmland should not require our minority government to confiscate the rights of private property owners.

Where specific land within the ALR is agriculturally marginal, it surely makes sense to allow those private property owners to use their land in other productive ways.

My problem with what the BC NDP is doing is twofold:

  1. they treat all land within the ALR as if it is all good quality farmland and it demonstrably is not; 
  2. they disrespect the rights of ordinary people who chose to live in the country and live on land that has no agricultural potential or value.

Bill’s 52 and 15 create a scenario whereby all things around agricultural land use are the same. A one fits all approach just doesn't make sense. We need to have policy that recognizes the land diversity in this province so that viable agricultural lands are protected and those that are not are given alternatives in terms of use.

If a rancher wants to build a house on his land for his children to live in, so that they can work the ranch and eventually take it over (and keep it in the family), should he have the right to ask the government if he is allowed to do so?

Bills 52 and 15 will take away his right to ask, and any possibility of preserving the long-term functionality of the ranch.

Also, if these new rules will not hold up in a court of law, they will result in high litigation costs. There is no point making rules that will not stand up when challenged in a court of law, regardless of the issue at hand.

The word “ALR” evokes different connotations depending on which community you live in. In Revelstoke, it might be closely aligned with development. In the Columbia Valley, it’s about generations of farmers and ranchers. Our riding of Columbia River-Revelstoke is fantastically diverse.

The ALR should not all be painted with the same brush—a one-size-fits-all approach is not effective in addressing each area’s unique circumstances.

I support the preservation of quality farm and ranch land. But we should not have a minority government stripping the rights of private landowners no matter what the circumstances. We need policy that recognizes the land diversity in this province so that viable agricultural lands are protected, but not at the cost of confiscating the rights of any private landowner.

I'm not always able to respond to my Facebook comments, but I must say the individuals who are participating in civil, respectful conversation (on my fb page) make me smile.

Isn't this what it's all about? Conversing with neighbours, sharing ideas, and maybe learning something. You guys are great!

That’s me on the old trusty horse. I cowboy
for my ranching neighbour whenever I can.


Doug was elected as MLA for Columbia River-Revelstoke in 2017.  Once elected, Doug was positioned as the Official Opposition's co-critic on Tourism, Arts, and Culture and sits on the Select Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs as well as the Special Committee to Appoint a Chief Electoral Officer.

Prior to his election, Doug enjoyed an extensive career in education.  For 20 years, Doug combined interests in business and education as CEO of the Calgary Education Partnership Foundation. His work has been recognized by the Conference Board of Canada and the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.

Doug has also worked extensively in tourism, managing operations for Princess Tours in the Calgary area for nearly twenty years.  Doug holds a Master's Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from Gonzaga University Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor's Degree in Secondary Education and Teaching from the University of Calgary.

Doug is an adopted member of the Weasletraveller family and an honourary chief of the Piikani First Nation of the Blackfoot Confederacy. He and his wife Susan live at Dutch Creek.


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